Let’s begin by saying 300 Rise of an Empire was awesome. Just straight, up, awesome. Obviously a guy movie, the muscle-bound adventures continue as  Queen Gorgo (Lena Headey) narrates and brings us up to speed as to what’s happening and how the world came to such a treacherous time. She goes back far enough to explain the root of Xerxes (Rodrigo Santoro) anger, which came when his father, King Darius (Igal Naor), took an arrow to the chest by our new protagonist Themistocles (Sullivan Stapleton). Xerxes’ advisor and leader of the Persian Naval Fleet is Artemisia (Eva Green) who at one time also led the military under King Darius.

Now with this film, I’m seeing a lot of what I remember when the initial 300 debuted: Bad reviews, epic box office sales. I’ve seen lots of 6’s and 7’s while holding the #1 spot in America. It’s an awesome movie but I know the problem that the hardcore Leonidas fans have with this film. It’s very simple actually… there’s no Leonidas. “Tonight we dine in hell!” “This! Is! SPARTA!” “This is where we fight! This is where they die!”  Yeah, none of that in this one. So if you come across anyone that says “well…. I don’t know, something was different about this one,” that’s because the character that MADE the first 300 died by death of a trillion arrows. That and the battles in this film are at sea as opposed to the land battles that filled the first film. But was it still epic? Yes. Were Greeks jumping off cliffs to kill people? Yes. Were there more epic battle scenes? You better believe it! And although I caught a regular screening, you can tell this movie would be amazing in 3D!

I’m giving this a solid 9 out of 10. If you never saw the first installment that’s ok. This movie brings you up to speed with everything that has happened and prepares you for what is to come. Also, if you’re new to the series you need to know there is lots of violence and a boatload of blood. Zack Snyder (screenwriter) you’ve done it again!

-Jon J.

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