Directed by: Noam Murro
Based on Frank Miller’s long delayed graphic novel Xerxes, (Miller’s comic, Xerxes was originally supposed to have been a six-part tale with each installment released in individual comicbook form beginning in 2011 year, apparently he delivered the first two chapters to Dark Horse, but then became “distracted” with production of a new Sin City film, and (as reported by Bleeding Cool), perfume ads.) Needless to say both the Xerxes comic, and Miller’s fans, will simply just have to wait.
As for the film itself, it is once again told in the breathtaking visual style of the blockbuster film 300, this new chapter of the epic saga (which is both a prequel as well as a sequel as it, quite literally, brackets the original action of the first film) as it takes the action to a fresh new battlefield — on the high seas — as Greek general Themistokles (Stapleton) attempts to unite all of Greece by leading the charge that will change the course of the war. The film pits Themistokles against the massive invading Persian forces led by mortal-turned-god Xerxes (Santoro), and Artemesia (Green), the vengeful commander of the Persian navy.
The slo-mo, blood-splatter and graphic decapitations are rampant throughout the film, even more so than we saw in 300, which shouldn’t put anyone off from seeing the film as it is all more for the art of it all than the shock/gore factor. The story adheres to the historic nature of the conflict between Persia and Greece (as much as any Hollywood film can), and presents a powerful visual epic that is not only thoroughly enjoyable, but visually arresting as well.
Plus, it is also very noteworthy here to compliment the film on delivering such a powerful, fully-formed strong woman character in the form of Artemesia, who is so much more than eye-candy in her role as leader of the Persian fleet. Yep, this one is well worth checking out, and a very worthy successor to the original film.
Robert J. Sodaro has been reviewing films for some 30 years. During that time, his movie reviews and articles have appeared in numerous print publications, as well as on the web. Subscribe to receive regular articles and movie reviews.