When you make a movie that is iconic as “300,” people will inevitably compare any sequel to the original.
Sadly, I have to say that in every aspect, “Rise of an Empire” feels far short of the first “300.” Even though the stakes are higher, the tone and atmosphere of the film does not retain the glorious, no-holds-barred attitude of its predecessor.
What was magical about the first “300” was that, in a rare case, we witness a story where the warriors are happy about sacrificing themselves for their cause, even though we were never entirely sure for what cause they were fighting. It was pure camp and corny, but they pulled it off brilliantly and made it look easy.
Examples of films that tries to emulate the feel of “300” are “Clash of the Titans,” and “Immortals,” and these films show that ancient-swords-and-sandals films, if not done the right way, can be cringingly-corny and difficult to watch. Sadly, ‘Rise of an Empire” dabbles into this area of mediocrity at times.
“300: Rise of An Empire” is a decent time at the theatres, but don’t expect anything as epic and awing as the first “300.”