cranky home
Reviews since 1993:   A-E     F-N      O-Z    Posters       Who We Are and Why We Do What We Do         Search the Site

Your Donations support the Site

Top Selling DVD     Books

50 Shades of Grey
Exodus Gods and Kings
Grand Budapest Hotel
Imitation Game, The
Into the Woods

Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit
Theory of Everything
Ride Along
We're the Millers
The Great Gatsby
The Avengers
Amazing Spider-Man
Girl w/ Dragon Tattoo
Dark Knight Trilogy
World War Z
Happy Feet 2
Iton Man 3 combo
Batman Begins
Dark Knight
Fifth Element
The Hangover
Hunger Games
James Bond 11 disc coll.
Lord of the Rings trilogy
Mission Impossible GP
Sherlock Holmes AGOS
Singing in the Rain
Snow White Huntsman
Star Trek Into Darkness combo
Star Wars Saga
21 Jump Street
Ultimate Matrix coll
X-Men First Class
X-Men Trilogy
X-Men Wolverine

 BLU-Ray for Family DVDs 
Alice in Wonderland (2010)
A Bug's Life
Chronicles of Narnia set
Harry Potter 1-8 collection
Iron Man 2 combo
Kung Fu Panda
Lord of the Rings Trilogy Pinocchio
Pirates of Caribbean trilogy
Pixar short films
Shrek the Whole Story
Sleeping Beauty
The Smurfs
Snow White & 7 Dwarfs
Star Trek motion pictures set
Star Trek TNG Season One
Star Wars Saga (1-6)
Toy Story combo
Toy Story 2 combo
Toy Story 3 combo
Wall-E SE


Search engine by FreeFind
Click to add search to YOUR web site!
click to search site

Alice in Wonderland
Beauty and the Beast
Kung Fu Panda
The Lion King
Mary Poppins 45th LE
Princess Mononoke
Shrek the Whole Story
Simpsons Movie
Spider-Man Trilogy
Spirited Away
Star Trek movies set
Star Trek TOS (TV)
ST:TNG complete tv set
Star Wars Trilogy (1-3)
Star Wars Trilogy (4-6)
Toy Story DVD combo
Toy Story 2 DVD combo
Toy Story 3 DVD combo
Wallace and Gromit
Wall-E SE

Buy Movie collectibles
TV/Movie Collectibles

movie review query engine

NY film critics online

Privacy Policy

300: Rise of an Empire
Click for full sized poster

300: Rise of an Empire

Starring Sullivan Stapleton, Eva Green, Lena Headey, Hans Matheson, Callan Mulvey, Rodrigo Santoro, Jack O'Connell
Screenplay by Zack Snyder and Kurt Johnstad
Based on the graphic novel "Xerxes" by Frank Miller
Directed by Noam Murro

Director Zack Snyder, who helmed the blockbuster 300 (blockbuster is why sequels were invented, dontcha know...) is now running the Superman movie reboot for Warners, so he and original co-screenwriter Kurt Johnstad join together to give new director Noam Murro a strong base from which to start. Of course, that strong base is Frank Miller's original comic... sorry, graphic novel (and we're not being snide. We've been a fan of Frank Miller's work ever since he saved and rebooted the Daredevil franchise for Marvel Comics nearly three decades ago. Damn, we're getting old <sigh>}

IN SHORT: Hardcore battles and 3-D streams of blood . . . why wasn't high school history like this ??? [Rated R. 103 minutes]

We do not expect that a ticket buyer know the Source Material before sitting for any movie. 300: Rise of an Empire has a moment or two here or there which requires knowledge of its predecessor but, for the most part, those who missed the earlier, land-based bloodbath should pick up the necessary background easily. 300: Rise of an Empire focusses on a fledgling Greek navy from the city-state of Athens which gathers to battle a Persian navy a thousand ships strong. More important, it compresses Greek history to a pair of sequences set ten years earlier. First, Athenian Themistocles (Sullivan Stapleton) picks up a bow and, from a super-human distance, shoots and kills the Persian King Darius (Igal Naor). Of so it is said. (Things happpen in the heat of battle that are always exaggerated as the stories are retold). Second, the ritual baptism -- in a cave of hermits -- of the Persian heir apparant Xerxes (Rodrigo Santoro), son of Darius. We're guessing that that event was also about ten years before this movie . . . Xerxes is prominent in 300 as King so, there's one link.

The forces of Persia which descend on Athens are led by a fierce, orphaned Greek woman. She is Artemisia (Eva Green) and her nemesis, the aforementioned Themistocles will contemplate an offer that most men would not refuse. 300: Rise of an Empire, though, lays out its entire raison d'etre in its title. Persia, having crushed Sparta, would do the same for the rest of Greece. Themistocles, knowing that only the combined strength of all the city-states of Greece can stand up to the Persians, sets out to rally the farmers and philosphers and all the non-warriors to be an army.

The problem is, the remaining Spartans want nothing to do with the other Greeks. The Persians are counting on it.

That is most all you need to know about 300: Rise of an Empire. We wrote, in our review of the first film, "see it in IMAX" because our screening wasn't in IMAX and we just knew . . ."   Yours Cranky was treated to a proper full blast IMAX screening of this sequel and can report that it is quite something, to watch that much battle butchery on the over-sized IMAX screen.

The sole problem is that the screenplay for this film bounces all around historical time. Most of the film should follow the chronological events of the first film, yet inserting the necessary backstory noted above kind of messed up the natural flow of this film's story. The events of the 300 stories are all perfectly suited to teenaged or 20-something boys who live for bloiod and guts stories. Been there done that. We suspect that it is the air-borne blood and guts aspect of this story that gets the boys into a theater. If our suspicions are correct -- for most of 300's box office came from overseas -- there is one more story yet to come from this franchise. One in which the Greeks decide to just put the Persians down for good. There is, after all, a reason why we all are taught the history of ancient Greece, and not Persia, in our school days.

We'll end by saying what needs to be said . . . if you have no stomach for flying body parts, 300: Rise of an Empire is not for you.

On average, a first run movie ticket will run you Ten Bucks. Were Cranky able to set his own price to 300: Rise of an Empire, he would have paid . . .


Since you lucky readers have the option, dig out your DVD copy of 300 and watch it first.

amazon com link Click to buy films by Noam Murro
Click to buy films starring Sullivan Stapleton
Click to buy films starring Eva Green
Click to buy films starring Lena Headey
Click to buy films starring Hans Matheson
Click to buy films starring Callan Mulvey
Click to buy films starring Rodrigo Santoro
Click to buy films starring Jack O'Connell
Click to buy films starring Luke Roberts
Click to buy books by Frank Miller

The Cranky Critic website is Copyright © 1995  -  2017  by Chuck Schwartz. Articles by Paul Fischer are Copyright © 1999 - 2006 Paul Fischer. All images, unless otherwise noted, are property of,©, ®, their respective studios and are used by permission. All Rights Reserved. Not to be used or copied for any commercial purpose. Academy Award(s) and Oscar®(s) are registered trademarks and service marks of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.