300:  Rise of an Empire

On VOD:
300: Rise of an Empire

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300: Rise of an Empire. Rating: 3 (out of 5). Greek general Themistocles battles the invading Persians led by Xerxes, a mortal-turned-god, and Artemisia, the commander of the Persian navy. “300: Rise of an Empire” comes to VOD on Tuesday, June 24th. Critics noticed the performance of Eva Green in this film, but they cannot seem to find the movie as memorable as the first 300 movie. New York Daily News says, “The only saving grace is Green, the reigning witch-queen of cinema…. Without her, “300: Rise of an Empire” would be bloodless and brainless.”

Starring: Andrew Tiernan, Callan Mulvey, David Wenham, Eva Green, Hans Matheson, Jack O’Connell, Lena Headey, Rodrigo Santoro, Sullivan Stapleton, Yigal Naor
Director: Noam Murro
Rating: R
Genre: Action, Drama, Fantasy, War

 

 

REVIEWS

 

Chicago Sun-Times says, “If you loved the gloriously and gratuitously blood-spattered visual style of Zack Snyder’s epic “300,” you’ll probably enjoy the hell out of “300: Rise of an Empire,” which manages to be something of a prequel, a sequel and a parallel story all at once.”

Entertainment Weekly gives the movie a B rating, and further notes, “The film belongs to Green — maybe the only actress ever to “graduate” from being a Bertolucci muse to a bloodthirsty action-flick dominatrix.”

The Village Voice writes, “Though it isn’t exactly a sequel, Rise of an Empire might have been essentially more of the same, but for one distinction that makes it 300 times better than its predecessor: Mere mortals of Athens, Sparta, and every city from Mumbai to Minneapolis, behold the magnificent Eva Green, and tremble!”

According to Variety, “Anchored by Eva Green’s fearsome performance as a Persian naval commander whose vengeful bloodlust makes glowering King Xerxes seem a mere poseur, this highly entertaining time-filler lacks the mythic resonances that made “300” feel like an instant classic, but works surprisingly well on its own terms.”

The Philadelphia Inquirer thinks, “With its slo-mo ultraviolence, gushers of blood, impressive 3-D effects, homoerotic subtext, and self-important plot, this is a fan boy’s fantasy, a four-star wonderment. For less rabid moviegoers, 300: Rise of an Empire still makes a strong statement, albeit a dark and bloody one that lasts a good deal longer than it should.”

Chicago Tribune writes, “This is digital fake-ism all the way. Audiences bought it the first time; they’re likely to buy it a second time.”

New York Post says, “Green rules the picture with her nutty stare and her willingness to get nasty in a hot sex scene, but the movie’s main weak point is the Greek general Themistokles.”

Time notes, “For all the energetic milling, Rise of an Empire proves superior to its predecessor by making war a game both sexes can play, on nearly equal terms. In comparison, the R-rated 300 seems as innocent as Adam in the Garden before the delicious complication of Eve — or Eva.”

Los Angeles Times writes, “The spectacularly brutal fighting is the film’s main calling card, and in that “Rise of an Empire” doesn’t disappoint. Still, in the battle for best guilty pleasure, I’d give it to the Spartans of “300,” by a head.”

New York Magazine (Vulture) thinks, “The best thing about the new 300: Rise of an Empire is that Zack Snyder didn’t direct it. And the worst thing about it is that Zack Snyder didn’t direct it.”

USA Today notes, “Stunningly shot and stupidly written, 300: Rise of an Empire has all the visual style and arterial spray of its predecessor, Zack Snyder’s 300.”

The New York Times says, “The naval collisions and melees play out in panel-like renderings that are bold and satisfying for the first half-hour but lack the momentum and bombastic je ne sais quoi of “300.””

According to The Boston Globe, “Basically, if the first “300” was a pep-talk from Coach on how to lose with dignity, “Rise of an Empire” is an inspirational speech on the value of teamwork.”

The Hollywood Reporter thinks, “More than in the original, it’s often easy to tell where the small foreground sets occupied by the actors end and the digitally created backgrounds begin. The score by Junkie XL is predictably orotund, although some unusual and arresting moments emerge here and there.”

The Washington Post writes, ““Rise of an Empire” is no fun at all — even those famous six-pack abs from “300” seem to be missing a can or two in this desperate attempt to up an already dubious ante.”

The San Francisco Chronicle notes, “”300″ was an innovative and imaginative action film, but the follow-up, “300: Rise of an Empire,” is nothing but a disappointment.”

New York Daily News says, “The only saving grace is Green, the reigning witch-queen of cinema. The smoky-eyed French actress, best known for “Casino Royale,” “The Golden Compass” and “Dark Shadows,” throws her all into the performance, going bare-chested at times, bared-teeth at others. She’s like Elizabeth Taylor’s Cleopatra possessed by a succubus — which is a good thing. Without her, “300: Rise of an Empire” would be bloodless and brainless.”

The Austin Chronicle thinks, “While very much a “hard R” movie, Rise of an Empire is, nevertheless, the perfect sort of film for rainy weekend afternoons. It’s a spectacle right down to its shattered ships and duplicitous warcraft, and this time out the story’s been leavened and enlivened with plenty of old-school girl power. Now how about those Argonauts, already?”

The Arizona Republic writes, “Hilariously over-the-top when it comes to gruesome, 3-D violence and woefully underserved when it comes to story, “300: Rise of an Empire,” is pretty much what the original “300” was: a wish-fulfillment fantasy for the juiced-up bodybuilding crowd.”

The Oregonian says, “And Lo! Now comes upon us “300: Rise of an Empire,” which is both a prequel and a sequel to the original tale, only with more bloodspilling and slow-motion, and even less wit or truth.”

The Telegraph notes, “If 300’s human touch largely came down to Butler’s roaring and screaming, it’s left entirely to Green to goose the sequel into life. Happily she obliges.”

The Guardian writes, “It really is pretty dull, though, with the same moments of campy silliness: the same frowning gym bunnies with the same digitally enhanced abs.”

The Globe and Mail says, “By throwing herself headfirst into scenes that a more cautious actress might beg off, Green earns herself a citation for valour – a Purple Heart in a movie that’s otherwise way too grim and grey for its own good.”

Hitfix thinks, “If you weren’t down with the first film, this one will not change your mind, but if you’re up for sea serpents, exploding fat men, and an impressively insane performance from Eva Green, then “300: Rise Of An Empire” should entertain you tremendously.”

RogerEbert.com says, “Is there intelligent dialogue, or anything actually emotionally stirring? By my lights, no. But in terms of sheer bloody spectacle, “300: Rise of an Empire” gets a lot of mileage out of sheer venal spectacle. Just don’t try to derive a history lesson from the movie.”

Reelviews writes, “The lack of a creative driver behind the film leads to a level of fundamental dissatisfaction.”

Movie Nation notes, “Go tell the Spartans, stranger passing by, that these pretenders spoiled their franchise, and here their movie lies.”

According to Total Film, “Just as bloody yet much more conventional, 300 #2 offers splashy thrills aplenty but fails to make a watertight case for its own existence. Green, however, ensures it stays afloat.”

TimeOut London says, “It’s all extravagantly daft, moves at a fair clip and is over before you expect it to be – one suspects the actual Battle of Artemisium was rather different.”

The Dissolve writes, “Rise Of An Empire makes smart, inventive, sustained use of 3-D for its setpieces, though its characters would need to be developed further just to qualify as two-dimensional. The breathtaking images wind up serving a regrettable, sometimes headache-inducing, and strangely negligible whole.”

Film.com gives the film a 0 score, and further notes, “300: Rise of an Empire” actually offers too much, too late.”

IndieWire (The Playlist) thinks, “The “300” sequel might verbalize how the ‘Empire’ came into power, but so tedious and un-excitingly executed is the tale, it’s doubtful anyone will be singing songs about this kingdom ever again.”

Slant Magazine notes, “The encounter lays bare that Rise of an Empire has heretofore been a humorless, visually and psychologically pallid trudge, mostly made up of assaultive exposition.”

A.V. Club gives the movie a D rating, and further writes, “An awkward spin-off of Zack Snyder’s macho death fantasy 300, Rise Of An Empire retains the earlier film’s hyper-stylized, digital backlot slickness, but without the Spartan rah-rah-rah that has ensured 300’s enduring popularity.”

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