Sunday, March 9, 2014

Gore. Boobs. Glory.

300: RISE OF AN EMPIRE (2014)

Have you ever thought to yourself Gosh I wonder how much violence one could pack into a movie, while maintaining a coherent and enjoyable plot well if you have then I present to you the answer to that question: A freakin' shit tonne.

Ok so 9 years ago (editor's note: seriously 9 years?! I am getting old. I mean I don't feel as old as I did when I found out Kurt Cobain's daughter is legal... but still... damn!) a then unknown director Zack (the ladies like my Steel) Snyder made a crazy over the top CGI blood feast called 300. It opened to drop jaws everywhere and went on to 450 million world wide. So naturally a sequel would be demanded... and well hey, better late than never.

So plot, to recap the previous film: King of Sparta went up against the God King of Persia with 300 soldiers. They killed a bunch of persians (including some ninja dudes) and then died horrible deaths. This here sequel is actually taking place for the most part at the same time of the original film. While the 300 spartans defend their greece, along the shores, Themistokles (Played by a hero worthy - Sullivan Stapleton) defend against the God King's fleet. He is a master tactician but then again so is the leader of the persian fleet - Artemisia (played by a deliciously evil and curvy Eva Green).

If I lay here... If I just lay here... would you lie with me... 

There you have it. A plot that allows for a near awe-inspiring amount of violence. Yes, I do not support CGI bloodletting over practical but hey, this is a 300 film. It is part of the over the top nature to the movie. The blood must fly everywhere, and in smile inducing slow motion. Indeed basically no name director Noam Murro has really proven himself here. Yes he has simply copied Zack's style from the original film, but in doing so has taken many of the action scenes to near art.

You know how I know I (and my man-ness) am going to enjoy a film... when before the "This is what happened" segment of the movie concludes there have already been a hundred deaths, and a set of boobs. Yup. Cue popcorn, game on.

Eva Green is fantastic in this film. I have always been a little on the fence with her, but the um... "Violent sex" at one point in this film is so damn crazy and hot that you'll turn turn to your boy and smile.

Everytime I come around your city - Bling, Bling.
Editor's note: if you have somehow talked your girlfriend into seeing this film with you, or if she simply refused to be left behind. Do not... I repeat do not! Turn to her and smile during the aforementioned sex scene. 

Lena Headey returns as the Queen of Sparta, and though her role is smaller, she commands every scene. She is making a career out of playing powerful, intelligent women (GOT, Sarah Connor), and really with Sigourney Weaver out of the action spotlight... we were in need of a new candidate for the badass Va-jay-jay award. You miss Headey win. I don't as of yet have a politically correct trophy, but I assure you it is in the works.

So to the action.
Fans of the original, relax, you will be happy. There is more blood, and carnage for your buck than anything you have ever seen on the screen before. And well, that leads me into one of two major (ok medium) issues I have with this film.

1. The 3D. What the F. It's freaking pointless. Here you have a perfect film to throw blood and guts, severed limbs, firebombs, whatever, at the audience, and for the most part nothing! I mean it's almost unbelievable to have this amount of chaos. To clearly be making a movie to just entertain peeps and what...? Forget that it's in 3D.

and next to my second disappointment...

2. The ending. As in, it doesn't have one. That is right. It took 9 years for this film to get made but they actually have the balls to leave it open for a third instalment. I think about how old that means I could be before I see the final part to this now trilogy... and my will be wrinkly parts are angry... Not Spartan Warrior angry... but angry.

Over all some of the most giggle inducing awesomeness you are legally allowed to witness. A bloody good time, and a sequel that can proudly stand alongside the original. And despite my dismay with the ending, assuming they have the next part at the ready... I will assuredly be having a 300-a-thon in the comforts of my living room - beer mug in hand (while I grunt and fist slam my chest).

Movie scale 3.5 out 5 stars
Action movie scale 4.5 out 5 stars

There may be bigger, and better movies this year... for sure in fact, but more entertaining, I dunno this has set the bar high.

Enjoy, and well, try not to think too much about how the hell the horse stays upright... You've been warned.

- Chuck B. Boonsweet


Chris Widdop said...

Can't say I agree that this is a perfect copy of the first in terms of style, but rather, a cheap imitation. The only thing this new director proved is that he completely failed to understand what actually made the first movie fun and enjoyable, IMO.

Chuck Boonsweet said...

Ah. Zack Snyder is a hard act to follow. And Frank Millar hardly out did the original with the sequel... so they had a little less to work with... but there was so much Machismo and violence, I let it slide. I'll agree on a straight story telling stand point the original has the edge... but damn the action was fun in this one. Thanks for the opinion. Here's hoping the 3rd one knocks it out of the park... though that's probably a pipe dream.