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'300' sequel unimpressive and bland

By Randy Amorim
On March 10, 2014

"300: Rise of an Empire" is the kind of movie responsible for why sequels get bad reputations. Did anybody watch "300" and feel there was a necessity to continue the already fantasized true story anymore? This sequel is more unnecessary than "Taken 2," a sequel that felt so forced the audience could practically feel the producers reaching into their wallets and spitting in their faces. Unless you are one of the obsessed worshippers of the 2006 cult classic, there is no reason to waste your time, money, patience or sanity on this film.
The film is both a prequel and a sequel. The events start prior to "300", continue throughout the first film's timeline and end after. Since we already know what happens, the film plays out as a companion piece to the other story. Unfortunately it does not have a story nearly as interesting or even remotely gripping. While I enjoyed "300," it suffered from the same thing as every other film Zack Snyder has directed. The man is a horrible director with a focus on style over substance to an extreme where it really is all style and virtually no substance. "300" worked since its tone and style was unique and impressive at the time. In the past eight years, we have seen "300" emulated and ripped off again and again. The style alone is no longer impressive enough to sit through ridiculous, over-the-top, gory action with no other redeeming qualities. Yet, the producers seem to think we would and rightfully so seeing as "300: Rise of an Empire" opened to over $45 million.
The acting is awkward and horrible. It almost feels like a parody as the actors walk through the events of the first film making inside jokes to famous lines and moments. The violence is so ridiculous and the effects are so poor that I could not find myself buying into any of it. It is rather repetitive too. Most of the action takes place on the sea in a scene similar to the opening level of the first "God of War" video game. Every action scene is basically a repeat of this same thing again and again. It didn't impress me the first time and by the final scene I was beyond annoyed. It's like watching somebody play a bad video game again and again, refusing to accept that they could be playing another more entertaining one.
This film is sure to someday attract the attention of the so bad it's good crowd. There's an incredibly weird sex scene half way through where I began to question every decision I had ever made in my life that led me to be sitting in this theater. The main villain is a Greek woman working for the Persians strutting around in lingerie throughout while she decapitates countless men and then makes out with the dead head. That seriously happens. The main Greek hero is a boring and bland cliché who resembles Adam Levine in appearance and poor acting skill. The two agree to a neutral meet where she attempts to persuade him to surrender. Suddenly, they start having sex after some heavy flirting. They hit, choke and throw each other back and forth around the room while she says "join us" and he continues to have sex with her before finally saying "no." This of course leads her to get off of him and throw him out. Why was this scene in the movie? Just to please the obvious 18-year-old made demographic that came out to see this film. As if the whole thing wasn't bad enough, this scene had to exist to ensure nobody would ever take it seriously.
While "300" was an impressive stylistic film, it managed to contain enough substance and a powerful career launching performance from Gerard Butler to turn what was essentially a cheap B-movie into a major hit. Yet, the sequel is more of a Z-movie. It is so bad that it makes "The Human Centipede" or "Scary Movie 5" appear Oscar worthy. People who watch this movie do not value their money or time.

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