300: Rise of An Empire
Mindless entertainment that is inferior to the first instalment, not because of the lack of starpower (most of the stars then were not really stars yet, e.g. Gerard Butler and Michael Fassbender), but because the plot dragged and the narrative was predictably straightforward.
New director Noam Murro did a competent job and his action choreography was visually interesting albeit a bit on the safe side. However, as the story proceed from point A to B to C to D...the transiting scenes really dragged and slowed the pace down. I watched in 2D, however, Murro clearly filmed this movie with 3D in mind with many of the battle scenes employing moments that really made full use of the 3D effects. The screenplay itself is basically 300: The Navy Edition, and those sea battles were visually impressive. However, characters were weakly written and even the main ones had only a skeletal background that did not really offered much meat or marrow.
Sullivan Stapleton takes over the rein from Butler and he has a bit more screen command than Butler. But for a movie like this, emoting is not really as necessary as mastering The Blue Steel.
The other star of the movie, and possibly the biggest name attached, would be ex-Bond girl Eva Green who seemed to be channeling Kristin Steward in leather and chains as she spits each word in a strange English/French-accented way that kind of suited her character. But ultimately she still fell prayed to chauvinistic writing.
Oh, and Cersei...I mean Queen Gorgo...kicks ass!
And don't expect too much abs and pecs here though, the Athenians ain't the Spartans (clearly demonstrated when they appear in a scene together)
In all, it was an entertaining, bloody way to spend 100 minutes where the brain can just sweep off and the eyes glazed over.