Tuesday, March 11, 2014

300: Rise Of An Empire Is Horribly Unworthy

Weak story, weak characters, weak cast... this is the epitaph of any potential 300 franchise after the colossally bad 300: Rise of an Empire.
Somehow I had managed to hype myself up for this flick, despite the repeated warnings that people had been walking out mid-film. Really I don't know what I was expecting. I guess I just assume action like that of the original 300 would be easy enough to duplicate, and all that was really necessary was another buff army marching into battle and looking quite cool. But somehow this sequel failed to do even that.
Was it difficult for anyone else to understand his character's name?
Sullivan Stapleton was so outrageously miscast as the lead of this movie that in the trailer it became incredibly clear the ad department had to scrape and claw to find moments of his worth showing to us. I honestly can't think of a single interesting thing he does in the movie. They had their work cut out for them.
What's even stranger, Eva Green, one of the things that drew me to this movie to begin with, gave an equally yawn-inducing performance of her own. She seemed like she was trying, but nothing from her bag of tricks was working. Perhaps the script held her down, but there were a few moments that I am certain were strictly her fault. She's been good in the past, so perhaps this had something to do with the overall vision of the project.
But beyond that, the Athenian army... the group we're watching most of the time... was far less interesting than the 300 Spartans of the first film. Those guys trained hard for that movie and looked beefed... these guys looked like a bunch of poorly wrapped sausages who were told to put on armor and pretend they were badass. They didn't even come close. And before you say anything, I get it... the Athenians wouldn't have been as strong as the Spartans. They were poets and intellectuals. But to me that is just further proof that this story did not deserve to be told... at least not in this heavily stylized action format.
Seriously, Xerxes?
300 worked well as a stand alone film. Rise of an Empire just muddied the water. And I don't think I'll be going back for another drink.

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