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|Originaltitel:||300 – Rise of an Empire|
|Laufzeit:||Ca. 102 min.|
|FSK:||From 18 years|
The war is far from over after the dramatic battle against thermophilic warfare. While Leonidas and his brave 300 Spartans try to defend themselves against the numerically superior army of Xerxes (Rodrigo Santoro), the Greek general Themistokles (Sullivan Stapleton) tries to make his dream of a united Greece come true in the fight against the destructive armada of Xerxes' fleet commander Artemisia (Eva Green). But only a small bunch of fighters joins the former hero of the Battle of Marathon. Despite some successful moves Themistokeles has to realize that he can't do anything against the hate driven Artemisia and her army. But as the news of the heroic death of Leonidas and his men spreads, the news could still turn…
The opening scene of "300 - Rise of an Empire" begins exactly where Zack Snyder's film ended in 2007. Nevertheless, it's not directly a continuation of the story, as the plot not only follows, but also takes place before and during the events from "300". Like its predecessor, this second film is again based on a (not yet released) original by comic mastermind Frank Miller, which Zack Snyder converted into screenplay form. Due to his intensive work on the "Man of Steel", Snyder did not take a seat on the director's chair this time. This honour was bestowed on Noam Murro, born in Israel, who, after his small indie debut "Smart People", dares for the first time to tackle a large production with blockbuster potential. However, the change of director is hardly noticeable, as "300 - Rise of an Empire" is not only stylistically very closely connected to the first part.
If you want to express it negatively, then the term "redundant" is probably best. Even though the fights were shifted from land to water and Eva Green and Sullivan Stapleton fight an erotic duel that is really extraordinary, the bottom line is that the viewer doesn't get a lot of new stuff. It goes a little more solid, it injects even more CGI-blood, but real surprises or something rousingly different, than in the first movie, you can't see it here. Even the very good decision to concentrate on Xerxes and Artemisia at first and to turn the perspective from the first part around doesn't change that much. Because the "300" films primarily take place on a visual level, whereby the plot and also the acting performances are degraded to a minor matter.
That may not necessarily sound tempting now. But actually "300 - Rise of an Empire" does everything right, as it offers the fans of the first part more of what made this overstyled battle record so successful. The battles are more epic, the comic style even more sophisticated and the brutality even more exaggerated. If you liked the desperate fight of the Spartans against the thermophile, you will be entertained here as well. Sullivan Stapleton, known from the series "Strike Back", can't quite hold a candle to his predecessor Gerard Butler. Eva Green is an opponent who is so wonderfully demonic-evil and at the same time sexy that every scene with her is a real joy.
If you expect historical precision, sophisticated dialogues or a multi-layered dramaturgy, you will desperately be tugging your hair after just a few minutes. "300 - Rise of an Empire" is brimming with pathos, clichéd dialogues and exaggerated stenciled characters. But as a pure fun movie Noam Murro is a more than worthy sequel, which will drive fine spirits into madness, where fans of the first movie, as well as the template of Frank Miller will have a lot of fun. Worth seeing
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