300: Rise of an Empire
R
Entertainment: +1
Acceptability: -4

Sullivan Stapleton, Rodrigo Santoro, Eva Green. Action/fantasy/war. Directed by Noam Murro.

FILM SYNOPSIS: Greek general Themistokles leads the charge against invading Persian forces led by mortal-turned-god Xerxes and Artemisia, vengeful commander of the Persian navy.

PREVIEW REVIEW: Like a graphic comic book (from which the original 300 was taken, the sequel is heavier on the visceral than character development or historical relevance. By filmís end those of us who still ask such questions, do so despite the eye-rolling of the desensitized: Is there no limit to the amount of screen carnage filmgoers are willing to endure?

Due to the R-rating, I suspect the blood-drenched actioneer is not meant for beginning teenagers. So, who is the demographic? I guess woman and gay men will enjoy seeing an army of sculpted and briefly clad male warriors. But who is all the screen carnage meant for?

Sensibilities have changed as the cinema has aged. The major movie-going audience of today may be overly impressed with this filmís stylistic visuals, including the slo-mo battles and beheadings, but with all the studio magic afforded to these sword-and-sandal epics, 300 and its sequel donít have the same heart or narrative resonance as Spartacus. Itís not about story, itís about slaughter.

Video alternative: Spartacus. Kirk Douglas stars as a slave who heads a rebellion against the tyranny of Rome. It contains terrific acting, score and theme, and in Spartacus, when you see legions of soldiers on the battlefield they are real, not computer generated.

Preview Reviewer: Phil Boatwright
Distributor: Warner Bros.

Summary
Crude Language: None
Obscene Language: The f-word is used twice; did they use that word back in the days of Zeus?
Profanity: None
Violence: There is a great deal of violent imagery from beginning to end; this violence is done stylistically, much like a graphic novel meant for adults; it includes battlefield sword and spear attacks; several heads become detached via sword-wielding warriors; dead bodies are seen numerous times, legs and arms cut off; gallons of blood spray forth numerous times, usually from a body once arms and heads are loped off; several rapes are depicted or suggested, including one of a very young girl.
Sexual Intercourse: One sex scene between Themistokles and Artemisia becomes graphic, but also violent, more like theyíre raping each other than any form of romantic fulfillment; two other occasions we see pillaging conquerors raping villagers.
Nudity: A couple of times we see topless woman in sexual situations.
Homosexual Conduct: None
Sexually Suggestive Action/Dialog: None
Drug Abuse: None
Other: None
Running Time: 102 minutes
Intended Audience: Older teens and up

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