An age-old world war, a new day conflict, vengeance pursued on the dangerous high seas—300: Rise of an Empire—sequel to the 2006 surprise blockbuster opens in theaters March 7. Beware ladies; the eye-candy is abundant: scores of chiseled, muscle-bound warriors at odds with each other all in the name of country and conquest. The Persian God-King Xerxes (Rodrigo Santoro) and his innumerable forces fight to the death against Sparta’s King Leonidas and his band of 300 best men in what can only be called a suicide mission.
“So you fight strong today. You fight for your brothers.
Fight for your families. Most of all, you fight for Greece.”
The first movie, under-rated at the onset, turned Gerard Butler (“Olympus Has Fallen,” “Law Abiding Citizen”) into a box-office success story; the sequel could spawn the same measure of success for the ladies this time around, particularly Eva Green (Artemisia) and Lena Headey (Queen Gorgo).
Warfare from a dominant male perspective has been invaded by a few strong women who factor prominently into the rules of engagement with a vengeance that only unrelenting conquest will satisfy.
In brief, “300: Rise of an Empire,” is being recounted by Sparta’s Queen Gorgo, the wife of King Leonidas, who takes over the narrative reins from David Wenham, appearing again as Dilios. We are reintroduced to Gorgo in this film when Themistokles (Sullivan Stapleton) comes to entreat the Spartans to ally with Athens and the other city-states so they can stand as one nation. Spartans are born and bred for war; nevertheless, Gorgo does not give Themistokles the answer for which he was hoping.
Returning in the role of Gorgo, Headey expounds, “Spartans were raised to fight, but only for Sparta, so she tells him that Sparta has no intention of joining forces with them. They will not sacrifice their lives for another’s cause and do not share Themistokles’ dream of a united Greece.”
Zack Synder who directed the first installment co-produced and co-wrote the sequel, Noam Murro (“Smart People”) directs. The story pits the Greeks against the Persians in a slash fest with more than enough macho eye candy to spare and spilled blood to go around.