I saw the first 300 in theaters back in 2007. I was blown away by Zack Snyder’s vision and the stylized action. It’s still a fun action movie to watch. Gerard Butler is charismatic as King Leonidas and it’s fun to see Michael Fassbender on the cusp of his stardom.
Since its release, many movies have attempted to replicate 300’s style without capturing what made it so entertaining. Unfortunately its own sequel, 300: Rise of an Empire, falls into the same category.
300: Rise of an Empire isn’t a great movie. It entertained me and fulfilled my meager expectations. The brightest spot was Eva Green as the Persian admiral Artemisia. She was so great in her role that even though she was the villain, I was pulling for her victory the entire movie.
Here are some other thoughts I had while watching 300: Rise of the Empire.
You could almost say that 300: Rise of an Empire is a biblical movie. It features two kings who both appeared in the Bible. Darius and his son Xerxes are both in Rise of an Empire. Darius shows up in Daniel and Xerxes is the king who favored Esther. In the movie, in order to take vengeance for his father’s death at the hands of the Greeks, Xerxes becomes a god. I don’t exactly know how it happened, but in the movie he walked into some golden water as a normal man with a beard, and came out a hairless, bald giant with a bunch of earrings. Xerxes wanted to be a god, which is really humanity’s oldest sin. Whenever we think that we know better or we should be in control, we are trying to be God. In his defense, though, Xerxes did it with much more panache than most of us.
At their core, the 300 movies are about ripped people fighting for those things to which they’re devoted. In 300 Leonidas is devoted to Sparta and their warrior way of life. In 300: Rise of an Empire the Athenian hero, Themistokles, is devoted to the democracy and freedom of Greece. Even the villain (my hero), Artemisia, is devoted to the Persian Empire and seeking her vengeance on the Greeks. We can be devoted to any number of things and that devotion will push us to action. If we want to honor Christ and expand God’s kingdom, then we need to make sure we’re devoted to the right things.
In 300 the Spartans fought for their way of life. In 300: Rise of an Empire the Athenians fight for their way of life, which included democracy and freedom. Well, it meant freedom for men who owned land, but still freedom. Freedom is something worth fighting for, and I’m thankful for all of the men and women in our Armed Forces who work to preserve our freedom. True freedom, though, can only be found in Christ. Because even if I’m free to say whatever I want and practice whatever religion I want, I’d still be a slave to sin if it wasn’t for Jesus.
300: Rise of an Empire wasn’t great but it was what I thought it would be. It was fairly entertaining but every scene with Eva Green was extremely entertaining. The movie was definitely NSFC so I can’t really recommend that you go see it. If you saw the first one and liked it, though, then you pretty much know what to expect from the sequel.
What did you think about 300: Rise of an Empire?