300: RISE OF AN EMPIRE
Blood Splattering as “Entertainment”
Starring: Sullivan Stapleton, Eva Green,
Lena Heady, Rodrigo Santoro,
David Wenham, Andrew Tieman
Runtime: 102 minutes
Distributor: Warner Bros. Pictures/Tim
Director: Noam Murro
Executive Producer: Marty P. Ewing, Craig J.
Flores, Jon Jashni, Stephen
Producer: Mark Canton, Bernie Goldman,
Gianni Nunnari, Deborah
Snyder, Zack Snyder, Thomas
Writer: Zack Snyder, Kurt Johnstad
Address Comments To:effrey L. Bewkes, CEO, Time Warner
Kevin Tsujihara, Chairman/CEO, Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc. (New Line Cinema)
Greg Silverman and Sue Kroll, President, Warner Bros. Pictures
4000 Warner Blvd.
Burbank, CA 91522-0001
Phone: (818) 954-6000; Website: www.movies.warnerbros.com
The backdrop for the movie’s exercise in blood splattering is the battle of Salamis between the Persians and the Greeks in 480 BC. The brave Greek commander Themistokles attacked the much larger Persian forces immediately after they landed when they would be tired from all their rowing. In the course of the shocking victory, Themistokles fired an arrow that killed the Persian King, Darius. Pushed by the female naval hero, Artemisia, the king’s son, Xerxes swears revenge. He even sells his soul to demonic forces to become a “god” king. Xerxes and Artemisia send a huge navy to crush the upstart Greeks, but they find the task much more difficult than they imagined.
In the movie’s favor, several short speeches are given favoring freedom and democracy over tyranny. These are weak excuses to watch a movie where the opposing generals, Themistokles and Artemisia wind up in a bizarre, violent sex scene complete with nudity. Cecil B. Demille could have made a movie about the battle and sent audiences home thinking about the value of freedom. This movie sends audiences home thinking about how much blood really spurts out of someone sliced in the gut with a sword – five gallons or ten.
As MOVIEGUIDE® Publisher Ted Baehr loves to teach, “Great movies are great stories, well told.” There is probably a great story somewhere in the battle of Salamis, but it got lost in the spectacle of bloodletting. This is no accident. Even the poster features the number 300 as a blood splatter with a red tinted “wave of blood” in the background.
It’s a sad statement that this bloodlust is considered entertainment. The filmmakers are betting on audiences wanting waves of blood. They may win their bet. However, MOVIEGUIDE® believes many, if not most, media-wise moviegoers will avoid the movie’s sex and violence and not help them win.
There is probably a great story somewhere in the battle of Salamis, but it got lost in this spectacle of bloodletting. This was no accident. Even the poster features the number 300 as a blood splatter with a red tinted “wave of blood” in the background. With all the bloody violence and some strong lewd content, media-wise moviegoers probably will find RISE OF AN EMPIRE unacceptable viewing.