Friday, November 21, 2014

300: Rise of an Empire Review

If you went and eliminated every moment of slow motion in 300: Rise of an Empire, just kinda played the entire movie at normal speed, I'm pretty confident it would be roughly 26 minutes long.
I can't comprehend how a director thinks showing action in super slow motion is cool. I just don't get it. The only reason that technique should be used is if the thing you are showing me deserves to have that extra time devoted to it, because either an intricately designed set piece plays a role or because what happens is so mind blowing that showing it quickly doesn't do it justice. The Matrix is a perfect example of slow motion that not only works, it was flat out necessary. We needed to see Neo literally bend over backwards to avoid bullets in the slowest possible fashion to truly appreciate it.

Every damn sequence of this film involving grotesque violence is slowed down so that we can see every drop of blood flying through the air, and trust me, there is plenty to see, and frankly it makes the entire experience boring. I have seen people getting cut with giant swords in movies before, and the visual style that made audiences flip their shit back in 2006 when the first 300 was released is no longer a reason to drop 12 dollars on a ticket at the cinema. Nothing that happened during 300: Rise of an Empire was all that interesting and it certainly is never as awesome as it thinks it is.

Action movie directors, take notice: go watch The Raid: Redemption and The Raid 2 by Gareth Evans. How do you make an epic blood bath blow your mind? By making it reach through the television and kick your own ass just by watching the movie. The pace of The Raid films is electric, so intense, so non-stop that it is exhausting to watch and I love every second of those gems. You can practically feel the punches and kicks as they land, and despite laying on a couch and eating cheetos the entire film, you can't help but feel sore in the end.

300: Rise of an Empire can splash as much blood on me as it wants, it doesn't save it from being boring and a perfect example of all style without even attempting substance. Speaking of the splashing, I lost count how many times I rolled my eyes at the fact that at least 60 percent of the movie was done specifically to sell 3D tickets. Giant weapon flies at the screen, look out! Blood spills out towards me, oh no! Arrow soars through the air right at my face, the horror!

It's lame and a bad sign for the confidence in the film if every stupid scene is crafted in a way to make people pay a couple extra dollars per ticket. I was never a huge fan of the first 300, but at least I can quote some of the famous lines of dialogue and I recall being impressed by various scenes. I will not remember a single thing from 300: Rise of an Empire going forward.


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