300: Rise Of An Empire [2014] ★★

300-rise-of-an-empire-poster1This may sound harsh, but I’m getting Zach Snyder’ed out, at least with his “300” series. The loose cannon vibe that hooked me up in the 2007 original has turned into a sorry excuse of a sequel/companion piece. And yet at the screening I attended, many people loved it, while others said that they were bored out of their mind. Now that “Rise of an Empire” has opened and we can see beyond the box-office gold rush (who are we kidding right?), the truth emerges between the extremes, you know, the place where disappointment eats at your expectations. Sure I wanted this sequel to be as good as the first one. It isn’t. Instead, “Rise of an Empire” is hit and miss like Snyder’s 2011 flop “Sucker Punch”. Start with the boring lead actor, Sullivan Stapleton, who lacks charisma. He plays Greek general Themistokles, who leads the charge against the Persian forces lead by Xerxes (Rodrigo Santoro, still the best thing here) and the vengeful commander of the Persian navy, Artemisia (Eva Green). “For glory’s sake, war!” says Xerxes. The rest is battle, all the time. And it’s a dazzling visual design that goes tone-deaf every time it opens its dumb mouth. Throughout this mess I kept asking myself the same question: what’s the point? And that’s the problem: I’m not sure there is one.”Rise of an Empire” only exists because after the huge success of the first film, its studio demanded a second film. Will it make plenty of money? That’s a given. But for fans of the first film, it’s a crushing disappointment.

N.B: Wonderful performance by Eva Green’s breasts.

Rating: 2/4

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