300: Rise of an Empire doesn’t really need to exist. Since 300 (SPOILER ALERT!) ends in the death of Leonidas and his Spartan army. It didn’t seem like a sequel was a possibility. Especially considering Zack Snyder was more focused on the DCEU at the time. Nevermind the fact that the graphic novel doesn’t have a continuation. Still, they found a way to make a sequel. 300: Rise of an Empire is actually based on an unpublished Frank Miller comic called Xerxes. The movie takes place before, during, and after the events of 300. From the perspective of the Athenians. Specifically their General Themistocles. 300: Rise of the Empire reveals the origin of “god-king” Xerxes, the warship Battle of Artemisium, and the Battle of Salamis after the fall of the Spartan army. It does capture the look and action for the most part, but without Snyder’s direction, it feels more like an imitation. You can tell by how overly gory it is compared to 300. The blue caped Athenians are also not nearly as interesting as the red caped Spartans. The only interesting character is the villainess Artemisia played by Eva Green. She’s a ruthless, beautiful, and somewhat sympathetic naval commander. As I explained previously, it can’t be a coincidence how similar her character is to her Sin City: A Dame to Kill For character. Aside from her, 300: Rise of an Empire just doesn’t work without the ferocity of Spartan warriors.
Preceded by: 300