When Zack Snyder released 300 in 2006 we all assumed that these 300 brave Spartans were taking on the might of Xerxes (Santoro) all on their own. How wrong we were. What actually happened was that the Spartans decided to go on a solo run and leave the rest of Greece without their best warriors. While they were fighting at Thermopylae the rest of the carpenters and goat herders were fighting the Persian Navy commanded by the rather vicious Artemisia (Green). With Xerxes fighting a war on two fronts against Leonidas and Themistocles (Stapleton) weakness in his forces will be exposed somewhere and this is the story of whether or not Themistocles can find it.
It all seems a little pointless to be honest and it’s not because it’s overly unentertaining, but because it’s, well, pointless. This whole adventure exists purely to milk the fan base that exists on the back of the original 2006 film and it is undoubtedly the poor mans 300. The action is littered with slow motion sword slashes and blood sprays that would leave one to believe that in Ancient Greece everyone had blood with the consistency of gravy. The acting is questionable at best and the character development is unoriginal, with the numerous back stories acting as filler for the entire first act. The father son thread to the story also represents story telling in the laziest sense.
Eva Green is a talented actress but she is working with poor material, but she’s not on her own, the rest of the cast are not exactly lighting the world on fire with their ever-changing accents and crappy dialogue. The taking of liberties with basic physics, comic book violence and absurdly viscous blood aside, does not help it. There is no high ground at sea; it is physically impossible and the ships coming down the front of a wave, like the horse cavalries of old coming down a hill, is a step too far.
With little more than a few back-stories and some decent, yet not earth shattering, action 300: Rise of an Empire is a disappointing waste of IMAX technology and your time.