September 30, 2022
Ithaca, NY | 39°F


Review: Endless battles slay plot clarity

"300: Rise of an Empire"

Directed by Noam Murro

It’s the rugged, Athenian naval commander, Themistocles, who used his military skill and ruthless combat ethic to unite Greece in order to defeat the Persian forces. Themistocles was responsible for instilling vengeance within God King Xerxes after slaying Xerxes’ father, former king Darius. The killing pushes the distraught leader to continue the violent war against Ancient Greece. On his deathbed, Darius warned his son Xerxes to stop the fight against the Greeks, but Xerxes did not heed his father’s warning and became a God King — one with a twisted desire to destroy Greece and its inhabitants.

What ensues is one of the ugliest and most predictable battles in recent movie history. In “300: Rise of an Empire,” an odd choice in graphics and a confusing plot distract from the main points of the movie, making it a complicated and unenjoyable viewing experience.

Though it is understandable for a war-themed movie to consist primarily of battle, “300: Rise of an Empire” is composed of exaggerated war cries and battle scenes. The constant battle throughout the movie created a boundary between the characters and the audience, and it was difficult to connect with the underdeveloped characters.

During the movie, the audience is constantly tossed into slow motion, while simultaneously trying to comprehend the video game–like aesthetics of the movie. Each time a warrior dies, gallons of blood spew across the screen and loud sword clashes overpower the audio. Slow motion kills coupled with the incredulous feats of the Greek military could leave the audience dissatisfied with the movie, with all of the battle scenes seeming over-manipulated and, ultimately, fake.

Additionally, the plot includes countless characters and numerous sub-plots that create difficulty in overall comprehension. The movie serves as a prequel, remake and sequel to “300,” which confuses the audience because a great amount of detail is irrelevant to understanding the movie. This created a disastrous final outcome, because while the audience was bombarded with outrageous visual effects, it was also trying to decipher what was actually going on. In addition, the movie fails to make an emotional connection with its viewers because the abundance of distractingly flashy visual effects hinder the character and plot development.

The combination of a never-ending battle and an unclear plot makes “300: Rise of an Empire” an overall confusing and insincere movie that will not leave a lasting impact. If not for accuracy and emotional connection, “300: Rise of an Empire” is perfect for viewers who seek overly dramatic battles and flashy movie spectacles.