Thursday, March 13, 2014

For Glory's Sake

300: RISE OF AN EMPIRE (2014)

Produced By: Warner Bros and Legendary Pictures
Director: Noam Murro
Starring: Eva Green, Sullivan Stapleton, Lena Headey, David Wenham, Rodgrigo Santoro and others
Pros: Nail-biting plot, excellent graphics
Cons: Clumsy start
Rating: **** of 5 (4 of 5)

Making a sequel to a great movie is always hard, just ask the guys over at The Hangover. And that's probably why Murro decided not to make a sequel, or even a prequel. Indeed, 300: Rise of an Empire is both connected to and disconnected from the original 300: if you haven't seen the latter, it doesn't matter but it does help. Such is the brilliance with which the story was conceived.

Eva Green steals the show here with a grand performance as Persian Fleet Commander Artemisia. Clearly, she put her mind and body into the performance. Sullivan Stapleton follows, albeit with a more mellow role. The graphics aptly supplement the great performances, with scenes of naval battle shown vividly. However, the 3D option is just a gimmick with the same old trick of things-flying-in-your-face. Indeed, since Avatar made 3D movies popular, directors seems to have been unable to discover any other use of the medium, which is a disappointment.

The real reason why you should watch this movie is for the plot and the way it all comes together. I just love it when a movie is good for the story: that's the ultimate point of the medium. However, it does start rather clumsily and is difficult to follow for the first fifteen minutes or so, but eventually picks up steam. Certainly a movie you don't want to miss. (OTFS)

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