300: Rise of an Empire Review: Lacks Emotion and Momentum

The original 300 is such a great movie for many reasons, including its artistic presentation, fight scenes, storyline, and characters. All of these qualities brought two hours of pure action-packed enjoyment.

Now, when I first learned of 300: Rise of an Empire, I was curious but never found myself very excited for the movie. I wondered how the second movie would be developed and questioned whether it would be an improvement upon the first. I’m not sure if that thought process effected my viewing experience or not, but I wasn’t surprised by what Rise of an Empire had to offer.

I must start out saying that it is intriguing how they tied the stories of 300 and Rise of an Empire together. Rise of an Empire pretty much parallels with the 300 storyline, talking about the battles that went on outside of what was seen in the original. It even has moments where it shows some of the same scenes from the first movie from a different perspective. These are instances that fans of the original will appreciate in Rise of an Empire. It also displays that unique artistic presentation that was seen in 300, though it takes on a newer and fresher form.

300: Rise of an Empire starts out pleasing to the viewer, but it doesn’t gain any of its own traction. I think I enjoyed most parts of the movie just because I liked the original 300 so much. I feel that will be the case for most people.

While there are interesting elements in the 300: Rise of an Empire storyline, it fails to develope characters and an emotional anchor point for the viewer. It’s a side story to a great storyline and it absolutely feels like that, a side story that’s nowhere near as fascinating or intriguing as the original. It simply seems like an excuse to get more bloody battles on screen, along with a rough and physical sex-scene that attempts to make the movie more entertaining.

The story failed, or at least the execution of the storyline failed in a majority of the film. Plus, I didn’t really feel the emotion from any of the main characters, which doesn’t allow the audience to appreciate them at all. It pretty much comes down to a movie where the viewer is just watching to see what happens next, not really caring what the outcome is because, again, the viewer is unable to make a connection with the characters.

I didn’t hate the movie, but there is definitely a flaw with the presentation of the storyline throughout the progression of the movie. It just doesn’t build any momentum. I think a lot of 300 fans will appreciate seeing the movie, but they won’t be talking about it much or watching it again anytime soon.

The 300: Rise of an Empire Blu-ray does come with quite a few special features that always help make the movie more interesting. It’s nice hearing the thought process from the creators and how they tied certain aspects together from the previous movie. I always appreciate what the film makers do to put together a story, and it’s always enjoyable to listen to them speak about their movie in the special features.

Unfortunately, don’t expect a whole lot from this film. I think those who go into it with very little expectation will actually enjoy the movie more.

Grade: C-

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