No, just … no. (★, directed by Noam Murro)
Oh dear God. And I mean the bog standard God, not Xerxes, son of Darius, giant ridiculous golden God King of Persia.
Bloated, hammy, and ludicrously violent, Rise of an Empire is a truly terrible film.
Written by Zach Snyder, who was responsible for the infinitely better first film, 300, this stinker is little more than turgid, cumbersome tripe.
An absolute low point must be “hero” Themistocles (Sullivan Stapleton) and Green’s magnificent warrior woman Artemisia engaging in the least sexy hate-sex ever committed to celluloid.
I’m telling you, if not even the perfect breasts of Eva Green can save your film, you’re really in trouble.
Put bluntly, Zach Snyder needs to forget writing.
I don’t know who told him this kind of weighty, on the nose dialogue is fun – it’ surely can’t be fun to say, either, although Eva Green gives it a run for it’s money, bless her – because it’s painful to hear.
As for how it all looks – which I’m told is the point, God help us – it’s a grubby, cold looking affair, awash in cgi blood, staggering under the weight of a thousand slo-mo shots, and groaning with hollow cgi sets.
It’s such a pity, since the source material is Frank Miller, who appears to know what he’s doing, and since stars Green and fellow Grecian Queen Lena Headey, reprising her role as Queen Gorgo, are usually a joy to watch.
Sadly, not even their talents can help the cumbersome lumbering of this lame duck.