Every Friday we spotlight the buzz-worthiest new movie opening in Philadelphia.
Name: 300: Rise of an Empire
Genre: Action/Swords/Chiseled Abs
Logline: Sin City meets Troy
Quick Review: Zack Snyder only produced and wrote this grisly follow-up to his successful 300, but his handprints are all over the thing, from the inane dialogue to the beyond silly physics-defying action sequences, all totted up in CGI-enhanced overload. The story very loosely follows the Persian attack on Greece lead by the golden-Speedo sporting King Xerxes (played by Rodrigo Santoro), and his naval commander Artemisia (Eva Green), a fierce female warrior, who is slightly smitten with her formidable Greek opponent, Themistokles (Sullivan Stapleton). Much blood and many body parts later, the issue is laid to rest, but not before giving us beheadings, disembowelment, fantastical sea serpents, and a 3-D sex/fight scene that ends with no one getting what they want. Welcome to the club.
Best Element: Eva Green, hands down. Artemisia, Greek-born but (with good reason) bitter enough against her home country to want to lay it to ruin, is by far the most interesting character and Green makes her never less than compelling -- even when she's kissing the bloody lips of an enemy's head she's just severed from his body.
Worst Element: Many things from which to choose, but I believe the horse ride over multiple burning enemy ships, all blocked together amidst the carnage of a full-scale raging battle might have been the moment my pen actually fell from my fingers.
"The Persians offered Sparta something they couldn't refuse."
"What is that?"
"A beautiful death."
Should I See It?: If this all still sounds appealing to you, then by all means check it out on the big screen (3D? Sure, why not splurge!). It definitely won't look any better on a TV a few months from now.
300: Rise of an Empire is playing now at UA Riverview, The Pearl, UA Main Street, etc ... Find local show times here.