Monday, 10 March 2014

REVIEW - 300: RISE OF AN EMPIRE


From the position that 300: Rise of an Empire is, fundamentally, a mistake, there's rather a lot to enjoy in it. Director Noam Murro has attempted to carry over as much of what worked about the initial 2006 300 as possible, which appears to have been a patchy process. But what not only worked about that film but distinguished it from ever so many other action films was the starkness of its style and the purity in its presentation. It was the concept, and this is the development - quite literally, in fact, since Rise of an Empire is concerned with the events surrounding its predecessor's storyline. And thus it is epic in more conventional manners, and fuller in scope and detail. And thus it is unable to carry over the starkness and the purity of what Zack Snyder achieved. And thus it is, fundamentally, a mistake. But still, there's rather a lot to enjoy in this mistake. The visual design is kinda old hat by now, but nonetheless striking and often sumptuous, and Murro's touch is suitably bombastic, insisting on the magnitude not only of plot points but of stylistic ones too, and it's a befitting arrogance he brings. But chief among Rise's enjoyable features is Mme. Eva Green. She, as Artemisia pledges to attack the Greeks with her entire navy (which indeed she does), a declaration I suspect she makes only to humiliate her supposed superior, Rodrigo Santoro's King Xerxes, since he has no such navy, and to experience the pleasure of leading several thousand ships at once. Be there 300 Greeks or 300,000, she could attack and conquer the lot of them single-handedly, we suspect. So frequently cast as aloof, though always at her best when cast as fragile, Green is here cast as ferocious as the vengeful will of a whole nation, and monumental as the full extent of the Aegean Sea which she so fiercely commands. There's rather a lot to enjoy in 300: Rise of an Empire, and rather a lot of that is courtesy of Eva Green.