Reviewed by: David Simpson
|Featuring:||Lena Headey … Queen Gorgo
Eva Green … Artemisia
Rodrigo Santoro … Xerxes
Sullivan Stapleton … Themistocles
Jack O’Connell … Calisto
David Wenham … Dilios
Scott Burn … Spartan Warrior
Callan Mulvey … Scyllias
Nancy McCrumb … Athenian Woman
Caitlin Carmichael … Young Artemisia—Age 8
|Distributor:||Warner Bros. Pictures|
Prequel: “300” (2007)
The story of “300” is back! After the raving success of the heavily green-screened action film back in 2006, a follow-up was always going to be encouraged. This latest sequel, is not, however, what many would expect. First, it’s not a sequel. Second, it doesn’t involve much of Sparta at all. No one expected Gerard Butler’s Leonidas back, as he died at the end of “300.” There is, however, a new hero. Themistocles, an Athenian general, played by Sullivan Stapleton, is charged with protecting Greece from the weight of Xerxes and Persia’s almighty army. This is the same army seen in “300,” except this half is charged with conquering Athens.
We are given past history from the life of Xerxes, how he became the god-King, who gave him that power, and why he yearns to conquer the world. Themistocles fired an arrow 10 years previously to kill Darius, Xerxes’ father, and now he has to hold the king and his female warrior general, Artemisia (Eva Green). Her mighty fighting skills, quick wit, and insatiable desire for power and murder means she is nigh unbeatable. Themistocles leads the Greek navy to defend his country, his people, and democracy.
“300” had its fair share of questionable content. Don’t expect anything different from its little brother. This is a violent war film with plenty of R-rated violence, language, and sex. Here’s the breakdown.
Language: 2 f-words, one used in a sexual context. 3 other mild obscenities, and two uses of “the gods” in religious profanities.
Violence: Every form of stabbing, slashing, slicing, hacking and cutting in hand to hand combat. Men use swords, spears, axes and other weapons. Men are shot with arrows, burnt to death, drowned, are eaten by huge man-eating underwater creatures and are executed. You see all this in over-the-top detail, with large quantities of CGI blood. There are also gruesome decapitations and dismemberment of limbs. The violence is extreme and, in many instances, difficult to watch, despite the unrealistic style.
Sex/Nudity: There is a very unnecessary and extended sex scene between Artemisia and Themistocles. It’s of an intensely rough nature and serves no purpose, and rather under-handedly show us Thermistokles’ loyalty to his own Greek people. At the climax of this scene, her breasts are visible, and the side of his naked leg and abdomen. There are two occasions of rape—one seen in silhouette, and the other implied. The breasts of two naked women lying with a Persian general are seen, but this is brief.
The “300” franchise is popular and will get views, even if the prequel/sequel isn’t as good a film as its predecessor. It follows vaguely along with the old Greek religions of multiple gods. This is referenced on a couple of occasions with regards to success in battle or regarding decisions made. Obviously, as believers, we know that we set no other gods before the One and True God.
Exodus 20:3 “Set no other god before me.”
The film alludes to loyalty to country and the belief that family comes above other morals. That is, fornication, violence, murder and other such things are all acceptable, if they are part of victory and protecting one’s country. In reality, we must seek to be above reproach, to lead by example in all areas. Even in the case of war, or danger to family and home, we can’t allow ourselves to submit to immorality. God is more powerful than that, and desires for more for us.
How do I know what is right from wrong? Answer
What is sin? Answer
What is one of Satan’s most successful strategies in dealing with followers of Christ? Answer
I enjoyed the visual spectacle this film provides. I watched it in IMAX 3D, and despite not being a 3D fan, I greatly this. Graphic and gory though it may be, it’s a man’s adrenalin filled rush. However, it’s not high quality storytelling. It has flaws, and lacks the genuinely unique feel of the 2006 version. I give it a 5/10 for storytelling. For visuals and entertainment, I give it an 8/10. Be aware, this is not a simple watch. It’s R-rated for a VERY good reason—not for kids, and not for teenagers either. The content, particularly the sex scene, could be easy temptation of the eyes; Eva Green is very seductive. Her character is also very twisted, with her thirst for murder.
Use extreme caution.
Violence: Extreme / Profanity: Heavy / Sex/Nudity: Extreme
See list of Relevant Issues—questions-and-answers.