300: Rise of an Empire

Artemisia dominates

This fantasy-action movie appears seven years after the film, 300 (2006), and depicts events occurring before, during, and after what happened in that film.

A number of actors in the cast have the same roles they took in the earlier film, and the action necessarily overlaps with 300 because many of the main characters met their death in the original film. A different Director, Noam Murro, is involved, and the movie is being released in 2-D and 3-D.

The film is battle-heavy and centres around the battle of Artemisium, a naval engagement that occurred around the same time as the battle of Thermopylae which was the focus of the movie, 300.

The fighting in this movie is between the Greek city-states and the Persian Empire in 480 BC, and the film follows the adventures of the leader of the Athenian general of the Greek army, Themistokles, portrayed by the Australian actor Sullivan Stapleton. David Wenham reappears in the role of Dilios. Themistokles goes to battle against Xerxes (Rodrigo Santorio), who has proclaimed himself god-king - a mortal turned god.

Artemesia (Eva Green), is the chief general of the Persian army, and is Themistokles' main adversary. Xerxes's quest is to conquer Greece with the help of Artemesia. While Persia marshals its forces to go to war, Thermistockes tries to unite all of Greece and takes the battle to the sea, with considerable effect.

The most impressive performance in this film is given not by any of the muscular male actors, who are everywhere, but by Artemisia, who seeks vengeance for the slaughter of her parents and others in her village by the invading Greeks when she was a young girl. 

The violence in this movie is intense and bloody, and the film deserves its MA15+ rating. Bodies are dismembered bloodily in disconcerting slow motion. 

This is a blockbuster film with a decided taste for violence, and it is heavily stylised. Despite the abundance of male heroes around, Eva Green dominates in the role of Artemisia.

- Peter Sheehan, ACOFB

300: Rise of An Empire

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