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Sodas & Popcorn – Movie Review: 300: Rise Of An Empire



Director: Noam Murro(Smart People)

Writing Credits: Zack Snyder (300, Sucker Punch), Frank Miller (Sin City, 300),Kurt Johnstad(Act Of Valor, 300)

Notable Cast: Sullivan Stapleton (Themistocles), Rodrigo Santoro (Xerxes), Lena Headey (Queen Gorgo) and Eva Green (Artemesia).

The Synopsis
Based on Frank Miller’s latest graphic novel ‘Xerxes’, and told in the breathtaking visual style of the blockbuster “300,” this new chapter of the epic saga takes the action to a fresh battlefield-on the sea-as Greek general Themistocles attempts to unite all of Greece by leading the charge that will change the course of the war. This film pits Themistocles against the massive invading Persian forces led by mortal-turned-god Xerxes, and Artemesia, vengeful commander of the Persian navy.

The Script
Before anything else: The sex scene! I know, as perverted as I may sound, there is a just reason for me not being able to resist throwing this out there first.

The sex scene in ‘300: Rise of an Empire‘is an all-timer. It is right up there on the shelf next to ‘Don’t Look Now,’ and ‘Showgirls’ because there’s a side by side of playful irrationality and violence that changes it from a demonstration of love (or lust) to quite simply a show of power. Eva Green, moaning and bent over a table with maps and war figurines, Classic!

‘Rise of an Empire’ is not a sequel in my opinion– it’s a ‘sidequel’, more of a filler so we don’t forget that 300 exists. It is the story of a different Persian assault on Greece (based loosely on a true story). As Xerxes (the giant bald gay dude in chains) is confronting Leonidas, Artemisia is heading a naval attack.

The movie starts right where the first one finished, then hurdles back to before it started, then runs simultaneously for a while. Kinda makes for confusing cinema.

To be very honest though, it is far less fetching than the first ’300.’ The most disappointing thing about it is the reprisal of similar themes such as the son who needs to earn his father’s trust. It also fails to deliver as many memorable one liners as its sidequel. But then in my opinion, the movie never set out to beat 300. It simply wanted to make some bucks please its fans.

The Directing
Jack Snyder doesn’t return as the director in ‘Rise of an empire’, rather he is the Producer and rather leaves the duties in the hands of a very much unknown director called Noam Murro, best known for a romantic comedy from 2008 titled Smart People starring Dennis Quaid and Sarah Jessica Parker.

Taking a very distant turn from the romantic and comedic tone of Smart People into the more challenging world of CGIs and a huge budget flick did come with its down sides for Noam Murro with the the CGI feeling very artificial in some scenes and the ribbons of artificial blood in 3D looking more like tomato paste. Nevertheless, he did a satisfactory job. Most of the fight scenes were cool and in the tradition of the 300 franchise, the weaponry and slow-motion lightning bolts were delightful for me.

The Acting
Eva Green isn’t even close to being the hero of ’300: Rise of an Empire,’ but she’s undoubtedly the star. I barely registered the other characters except of course, her sexual partner, Themistocles played by Sullivan Stapleton. Lena Headey(Game of Thrones) shows up for a few minutes as Queen Gorgo again, but pales next to Eva. She would have, maybe, but the movie ended abruptly as that was about to happen, sadly.

Themistocles, who is supposedly the major character in this movie, but his character is so boring he’s hard support. He didn’t get remotely interesting till the hate-sex scene.

Other characters aren’t really memorable, but I guess we will get to see more of everyone (and most especially Xerxes) in the next (and probably final chapter) in the series.

The Verdict
Let’s admit, whoever was expecting 300: Rise of An Empire to be as good as its ‘sidequel’ definitely hasn’t been paying good attention to Hollywood. But for what it is which is a succession of naval battles, with a crazy-ass scene of hate sex right in the middle (I know, I mentioned it again :D), 300: Rise Of An Empire was worth the wait.

It earns a Soda & Hotdog.

Sodas & Popcorn Rating3This review was brought to you by Award winning movie blog. We Watch Movies So You (Don’t) Have To.
Review by @bookjunk1e and @don_sylvestre

Hello there, we are Sodas & Popcorn. An award winning movie blog at the Nigerian Blog Awards. We review the movies released to Nigerian and International cinemas and give the trusted verdict on the movie to our readers.


  1. @edDREAMZ

    March 26, 2014 at 3:35 pm

    Hollywood will always standout great…… Downloading mode activated……

  2. poisefreak

    March 26, 2014 at 4:12 pm

    It wasn’t all that to be honest. Almost horrible graphics; one could tell that the whole movie was shot in a big ass dome with all that green wallpaper ish they put up. The sex scene wasn’t ‘crazy ass’, it was just there…. very predictable. You could tell that a lot of effort was put into entertaining the audience with slightly witty dialogue(overdone in some parts) . Didn’t even drool over the show of ‘able bodied men’….It all seemed too forced. I wish the story line has been explored beyond what this sequel was… Waited till the end for the empire to rise…Sad part is I have a feeling another movie would follow going by the ending. ….

    • 5'5

      March 26, 2014 at 6:53 pm

      POINT! my thoughts on the movie as well. The ‘acclaimed’ sex scene just didnt live up to expectations, nothing wowed me there, not even the fact that he said no whilst doing her and might have continued had she not pushed him away, weak.

      all in all, Empire was quite flat.

  3. Mz Socially Awkward...

    March 26, 2014 at 6:25 pm

    I walked out not long after I walked in. Just couldn’t deal.

  4. gbemmy

    March 26, 2014 at 7:18 pm

    very disappointed with this movie….gosh!! first 300 still way better. sex scene tho 🙂

  5. No Long Thing

    March 26, 2014 at 8:17 pm

    Nigerians are so simple minded. I dunno what else you guys were looking for, more bloodshed? Gets boring at some point. 300: TROAE had a much better story line than the 2007 -300 movie. Sex scene wasn’t that great, says who? If you want better sex scenes, watch porn.

    • shenugs

      March 26, 2014 at 11:12 pm

      Smh. No vex. People can discuss their opinions again? The truth is the movie wasnt all that. it was a HUGE let down. Lets not lie to ourselves.

  6. Stephanie

    March 27, 2014 at 1:31 am

  7. Turi

    March 27, 2014 at 11:29 am

    Spot on with your review, love it… Eva Green was brought in to give some concession to female viewers cause lets face it, 300 was too bloody for me and too male centric. The main character was a total let down, in fact, who is he? There was no outstanding oneliners that i could hold on to, the strategy deployed for war wasnt as exiciting as the initial one and why oh why didnt it just end!!! Omo, hollywood can keep their 3rd and final part biko, not interested.

  8. josephine

    March 27, 2014 at 11:35 am

    the movie waz great, just did not understand the ending though. Like wat happened to the wargod?????????????

  9. al

    March 27, 2014 at 4:52 pm

    the only character good enough was Artemisia and the best scenes was Artemisia’s bad-ass arrival and sex scene,

  10. yezzzille

    March 27, 2014 at 5:09 pm

    i will advice. do not pay to watch this movie. just download it; let it be pirated sef, or buy in traffic for N100 and then, u wont regret it.

  11. Babe

    March 27, 2014 at 9:27 pm

    Na wa for una oh choi all kinds of things. Me I totally loved it. Lemme not diss anybory. Everyone has opinions.

  12. Thomas

    April 15, 2015 at 2:43 pm

    It was awesome and I loved it, but it did not surpass the orginal.


    December 17, 2015 at 10:52 am

    It feels great to feature much revealing and unequalled articles on your websites.

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