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YMMV / 300: Rise of an Empire

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  • Alternate Character Interpretation:
  • Awesome Music:
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    • The tracks for the trailers, "Imperatrix Mundi" and "Blood and Stone" are simply epic.
    • This remix of Black Sabbath's song "War Pigs," used in this TV ad for the movie and the end credits.
  • Base-Breaking Character: Themistocles. Depending on who you ask he's either Crazy Awesome in his own right, a poor boring substitute for Leonidas (the protagonist of the previous film) or a decent protagonist by himself whose only crime is that he had the rotten luck of having to fill in for Leonidas.
  • Contested Sequel/Tough Act to Follow: 300 was too much to try to match, so critics were not charitable with this film. In fact, Rise of an Empire was unsurprisingly being criticized even before its release, with some voices claiming it came out too long after the first one and others claiming it simply could not be the same hit. Upon release, the film received mixed-to-negative reviews, with many criticizing it as largely hollow (aside from Eva Green's performance). That said, some people consider it a worthy sequel, considering it to have increased character depth and broader historic focus.
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  • Ensemble Dark Horse: Many who disliked the film cited Eva Green's go-for-broke performance as one of the few legitimate bright spots.
  • Evil Is Sexy: Artemisia. She's played by Eva Green, so it's a given.
  • Foe Yay: Themistocles and Artemisia had this going on between them in the film, despite having met only once.
  • Genius Bonus: One of Themistocles's men is Aeschylus, the famous Greek tragedian who fought in the Greco-Persian war and actually wrote a play about it. It's also especially awesome for people familiar with Greek tragedy to get to see Aeschylus kick plenty of ass.
  • Jerkass Woobie: You can't help but feel sorry for Artemesia after her very tragic backstory is revealed.
  • Narm:
    • This film upgrades Dilios's "against mysticism and tyranny" expression almost to official creed level, with characters quoting it verbatim. Okay, tyranny is a scary thing, but mysticism? (Even if it is probably referring to theocracy/religious intolerance, it is still ambiguous in its phrasing.)
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    • Much like what happened to The Matrix, techniques that were cool and innovative in the first film became tired cliches by the time the sequel came out, yet it still insists on playing them completely straight. By the time we get to the fast-motion-slow-motion kiss, a not too fussy viewer could swear the movie is a parody.
  • Nightmare Fuel:
    • Artemisia had a very bad time growing up.
    • There was also a nightmare that Themistocles had after he suffered a major defeat at sea at Artemisium. He dreamt that he was in the water with several of his men when two... for lack of a better word, sea-monsters emerged from the depths and began eating them. One of them notices Themistocles and decides to eat him. All in first person perspective?
  • Padding: The film makes extensive, almost excessive use of slow motion in battle scenes and some non-battle scenes. It gets annoying when it happens almost constantly.
  • Rooting for the Empire: Thanks to Artemisia and Xerxes's expanded backgrounds, this movie does a lot to show that not only the Spartans are beloved, as there are quite a bunch of people who may or may not directly root for Persia, but at least for the two characters.
  • Squick:
    • Among all the violence, Artemisia kissing a severed head stands out as particularly gross.
    • Artemisia's backstory of being made a slave in young age, and all the sheer horror that follows it.
  • They Changed It, Now It Sucks!: Some fans react this way after learning that Zack Snyder is not the director and the movie does not focus solely on the Spartans.
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Plot:
    • Artemisia has a ton of reasons to hate the Greeks... but the movie doesn't really cover one of the biggest: King Leonidas killed the one man in Artemisia's life who ever showed her kindness in a fit of cartoonish pique. This should be a huge reason behind her need for vengeance, but it is never shown or even hinted. It's possible that the writers thought that emphasizing another reason would make her altogether too sympathetic for the antagonist.
    • Also the fact that it is astounding that the producers didn't use the historical fact that the Athenians defiantly killed their own Persian messengers in the same way the Spartans did. The writers probably left this detail out to profile Athenians as more civilized than Spartans (which they really were, but in this case they were Not So Above It All).
  • Unfortunate Implications: Same as the first movie, considering all the heroes are a group of blue-eyed supermodels speaking in British accents, all the villains dark-skinned Persians speaking in Middle Eastern accents, and this time the only sympathetic or competent Persian so happens to be the only Greek (i.e White) woman within their ranks.
  • Unintentionally Unsympathetic: Queen Gorgo, until she decides to leave her tent. Even before we get back to the fact that her husband Leonidas died fighting the Persians she comes off as a rude, prejudiced Jerkass towards Themistocles, being antagonistic towards him right from the start when he came to discuss an alliance for no better reason than simply because he was an Athenian and not a Spartan.
  • Visual Effects of Awesome: Like the previous film, only in 3D!

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