The expectations for 300: Rise of An Empire are anything but moderate—either the sequel will fall epically short of the original or it will grace itself on a peak of grandiose glory.
Regardless of how 300: Rise of An Empire performs both critically and commercially this weekend, critics across the board have agreed on at least one reason to watch this film - and some have even cited it as the sole blessing: Eva Green.
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Green plays warrior Queen Artemisia in the sword, sea and sandal epic and according to critics, she's spectacular.
Here's what they had to say:
I’ll be honest, I genuinely don’t know how 300: Rise of an Empire is going to perform this weekend and overall at the box office…She [Eva] is worth the price of admission all by herself…
The images are duly spectacular, as Murro’s camera swoops and dives from every conceivable direction: Greek ships charging the Persian armada like so battering rams; mighty wooden vessels reduced to splinters by the jutting rocks of a narrow strait; nautical and human debris swiftly subsumed by the churning tempest. Yet not a bit of it is as startling as even a fleeting glimpse of Artemisia’s icily intent stare.
If 300’s human touch largely came down to Butler’s roaring and screaming, it’s left entirely to Green to goose the sequel into life. …she makes off with 90 per cent of the fun, whether decapitating a spy and then kissing his severed head, with tongue, or attempting to thrash out a truce with Themistokles during an acrobatic sex scene.
The Hollywood Reporter
Other than for the pleasure of watching Green try to conquer ancient Greece dressed as a distant forebearer of Catwoman, more is less and a little late in this long-aborning sequel to the 2007 bloodbath that was stylistically extreme and just different enough from anything else in its field to become an international action sensation.
Otherwise, “Rise of an Empire” is all Eva Green’s show, and she clearly relishes the opportunity to not only match but exceed her male counterparts’ supposedly indefatigable toughness.
Although the reviews for Rise of an Empire are solid-if-not-spectacular, the consensus is Eva Green is the one to watch because apparently, she is the only one that really kicks ass.
Whether or not she can catapult the sequel to the original's box office success remains to be seen.