300 Rise of an Empire throws us back into the world of historical and mythic warriors. This time Themistokles (Sullivan Stapleton) leads the charge against invading Persian forces of the god king Xerxes (Rodrigo Santoro). Themistokles wishing to unite all of Greece against Xerxes hordes goes up against Artemisia (Eva Green) the vengeful commander of the Persian Navy hoping that his actions will draw the mighty Spartan’s and all of Greece into a fight.
What I enjoyed about 300 Rise of an Empire was that story wise, it was set alongside the original. It is a sequel prequel at the same time. The intercutting of events from 300 allowed the viewer to follow the time line. The elements of back story are told via Queen Gorgo (Lena Headey) as she sails to an unknown battle. Queen Gorgo recounts the events that have brought them all here, from Themistokles slaying King Darius (Igal Naor) at Marathon to the young king Xerxes rise from a prince to a god king. Getting to see Xerxes before he was a god was pretty cool, I have watched 300 loads of times and never once noticed he was Paulo from Lost! It will be compared to the original but it’s good that it is. 300 was about the Spartan’s fighting the Persian Empire but 300 Rise of an Empire expanded that universe and showed the events that led to the confrontation starting 10 years ago before Xerxes was a god and it was his father who led the armies of the Persians. The original 300 stuck to the Spartan story while 300 rise of an Empire expanded the setting to all of Greece. This actually hold firm to the principles of the warrior kings themselves. When Leonidas marches to battle with his brave 300 he does so for Sparta, so all we are shown is the consequences and history of Sparta. Themistocles on the other hand wants to unite all of Greece and so the story expands to show this.
Why did I chose this movie, I will admit it was not high up there on my “to watch” list, I had imagined it would be a rehash of the original which I loved and was not expecting great things. Yes there are a lot of the same quotes and mussel bound giants chopping people’s heads off and the “fight for your Glory” moments but it held is own when it came down to the story. It’s a really good watch, loads of gore plenty of action and a good backbone of a story! You will see a lot of old faces including Dilios (David Wenham ) the deformed traitor Ephialtes (Andrew Tiernan) and flashes of the mighty 300. Worth going to see!