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YMMV / 300: Rise of an Empire

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  • Alternate Character Interpretation:
  • Awesome Music:
    • 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: 300 was a Tough Act to Follow if there was ever one, 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 due to the status of the previous installment. Upon release, the film received certainly mixed-to-negative reviews, with many criticizing it as largely hollow, although some people did appreciate it due to its increased character depth and broader historical focus (and Eva Green's performance).
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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 have 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 Artemisia after her very tragic backstory is revealed.
  • Magnificent Bitch: Artemisia is the brutal female commander of Persia's mighty navy. Desiring vengeance on the Greeks for her past as a sex slave, Artemisia manipulates the Persian King Xerxes into becoming a God-king and declaring war on Greece while murdering all of his closest allies so that she would be the only he would trust. Winning many battles on sea and killing her own men when they fail her, Artemisia comes to admire Athenian commander Themistocles and offers him a position as her lieutenant before the two have passionate sex. When Themistocles refuses, the next day Artemisia orders her men to pour oil in the sea while she shoots a fire toward Themistocles' armada, decimating his forces and nearly killing him. Learning of Themistocles' survival and battling him once more, Artemisia only loses to him due to the sudden reinforcements from Sparta and Xerxes' cowardly decision to abandon her, while she rejects Themistocles' mercy and charges at him declaring that she's ready to face death.
  • 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 Xerxes's god complex, it is still ambiguous in its phrasing.)
    • 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.
    • The funny look exchanged by two Immortal marines while hearing Themistocles' and Artemisia's Destructo-Nookie. Not only it increases the raunchiness of the scene itself, but also takes away the imposing seriousness the Immortals boasted of in the previous film.
  • Nightmare Fuel:
    • Artemisia had a very bad time growing up.
    • There was also a nightmare that Themistocles has after he suffers a major defeat at sea at Artemisium. He dreams that he wis in the water with several of his men when two... for lack of a better word, sea-monsters emerge from the depths and begin 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 have feelings and loved ones. 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 that 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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