It is becoming increasingly common for the latest Hollywood releases to land up in Dhaka soon after their international premiere. By those standards, nearly three months is a long time for a film as anticipated as the “300” sequel to come to the big screens in Dhaka. However, fans of action, fantasy and war films have good news; “300: Rise of an Empire” is the latest release from Star Cineplex. The film premiered – in 3D – on May 29.
Directed by Noam Murro and co-written by Zack Snyder (who originally wrote and directed the first film), it picks up right where the first film ends, and is based on The Battle of Salamis. Although a number of actors from the first film -- Lena Headey, Rodrigo Santoro, David Wenham, Andrew Tiernan, Andrew Pleavin and Peter Mensah -- reprise their roles from the first film, the central cast sees a revamp, with Sullivan Stapleton, Eva Green, Hans Matheson, Callan Mulvey, and Jack O'Connell.
As king Darius I of Persia is killed in the Battle of Marathon, his son Xerxes is advised not to continue battle, but is convinced by Naval Commander Artemisia (Eva Green) to embark on a journey that sees him returning as a 'god-king' and declare war on Greece. Athenian General Themistocles (Sullivan Stapleton) attempts to unite Greece, and despite initially being unsuccessful at that, employs his war tactics to fend off the Persian navy with his limited resources. After Artemesia fails to seduce Themistocles, she sends in suicide bombers and destroys most of the Greek resources; Themistocles barely survives the onslaught. Meanwhile, Xrexes has killed the 300 Spartans and looks to take over entire Greece, as Themistocles continues to try and unite Greece, going to Spartan queen Gorgo (Lena Headey). The final battle is at Salamis, where Theomistocles, with his battle-tactics and back-up from Sparta, defeats the Persians.
The film is expectedly quite gory, but the cinematography is stunning, as are the war and action sequences. Eva Green is breathtaking as a ruthless leader, as is Sullivan Stapleton in his role of the heroic General. All in all, it's ample entertainment for the fan of the genre.