By Patrick Patterson, for NBA.com
Time for another #PatsPicks movie review! Last week I was lucky enough to be invited to an advance screening of 300: Rise of an Empire. For a movie lover like me, it’s always special to see something before it is actually out in theaters. I had seen the first 300 when it was out and was a big fan, so I was very excited about the sequel.
Walking out of Rise of an Empire, I was satisfied, but let down a little bit. The best things about the second one were the battle scenes — there were a lot more visual effects, slow-motion film, and a lot more blood and gore. The visual effects actually helped make it a lot better of a movie than what it truly was, if you pared it down to just the script and characters.
The storyline was underdeveloped and the characters were a little shallow. I was specifically hoping the sequel would explore more of the character Xerxes from the first movie, get more into his background and where he came from, but there wasn’t much of that. It just went back to the fight scenes and attacking Greece.
Another character they could have done more with was Themistocles, again developing him a little bit more, explaining his family history and digging deeper into his life and the way he is.
The female villain Artemisia felt a little bit forced to me — they needed someone strong, someone nasty and ugly, and it didn’t feel like an organic fit in this instance. I did like that they picked an attractive actress; it added another weapon to her battle arsenal. She wasn’t only a skilled combat warrior, but could also make men want her to their own peril.
Overall I give it a thumbs up, a seven on a scale of one to ten. There were eight years between the two movies, I wish they had done more with the sequel instead of relying on visual effects. 300: Rise of an Empire was a fun movie adventure, but don’t go to the theaters expecting academy-level acting. Go see it if you have the time, but you also won’t lose anything by waiting for the DVD rental.
Patrick Patterson is a forward for the Toronto Raptors. You can follow him on Twitter @pdpatt.