By Kyle Osborne
It comes down to this question: Is it worth it to see a movie for the sole purpose of the film’s visuals? I mean, would you go to a concert where the music wasn’t the best, but the light show and performances were amazing?
For me, it’s an easy call. Of course, I would. The last four Terence Malick films have been jumbled, precious train wrecks, narratively speaking. But, how brilliant were the images? They transported you, their beauty and grace made you forgive Malick’s self-indulgent tendencies in the other areas of his movies.
So, why not go see ‘300: Rise of an Empire’? It’s the follow up to (but not a sequel, since the story takes place around the same time) to 2006’s ‘300.’ And it brings back all the same visual touchstones that were seen in the film that elevated Gerard Butler’s star status.
This one’s also based on a Frank Miller graphic novel and it pits the Athenians in a war against the invading Persians. This one is mostly a naval battle and the rolling seas look magnificent. In fact everything looks incredible and unique to these artists.
Yeah, the storyline is so-so, lots of narration, and our Athenian hero, played by Australian actor Sullivan Stapleton is just kinda meh. But Eva Green becomes a new camp Queen for the ages playing Artemisia, a Greek ex-pat who now is the hard core leader of the Persian military. She vamps it up and do NOT make her mad, cause Mama don’t play when she gets upset.
But back to the visuals—it’s hard bodies, buckets of blood and slow motion. Really slooow. A single- tracking train on Metro’s red line doesn’t move this slowly. Speaking of red, you’ll see less blood in a Vampire flick. The spatters fly like through the air like an animated Jackson Pollack painting. Some will find it too gory, others will marvel at the visual artistry of the men in battle.
These warriors boast more six packs than a tailgate party at a Monster Truck show. Anyone, no matter their gender or orientation, will notice that their jaws have dropped all the way down to the sticky floor.
In IMAX 3-D the effects are, you know, just okay—which is more of a compliment to how well it plays in a regular 2-D format than a criticism of the more expensive ticket. If you can afford it, go big. But then again, I always say that.
Yeah, it’s corny and campy, but it moves right along and you ABS-solutely can see a movie just for its visual splendor. I’d see this 5 times before I’d sit through another Malick mess.
‘300: Rise Of An Empire’ 3 out of 4 Stars. Strong “R” rating for violence, boobs and blood. More reviews right now at: http://www.EntertainmentOrDie.com