‘300: Rise of an Empire’: By the Numbers Review

Film Review 300 Rise of An EmpireWarner Bros.

When “300: Rise of an Empire,” the long-awaited follow-up to 2006’s surprise blockbuster hit, promises a tidal wave of blood in Lena Headey’s opening monologue, they’re not kidding. It’s even right there on the movie poster. Luckily though, every Greek and Persian has multiple pints — not to mention appendages — to sacrifice for the cause.

Taking place before, during, and after the events of the first “300,” the pseudo-sequel shows audiences what drove the giant God-King Xerxes (Rodrigo Santoro) to invade Greece, led by the steely Artemisia (Eva Green), who’s looking to raze her former homeland as revenge. On the other side is Themistokles (Sullivan Stapleton), the Athenian unwittingly responsible for starting the war, and in between, a series of fierce naval battles, which provide the majority of those aforementioned waves of blood.

So, some seven years later, how does this new, nautical “300” stack up again the original? And more importantly, can it possibly top that first film’s geysers of CGI blood spray and 300 six-packs? I crunched the numbers to find out.

(As always, like the franchise’s take on ancient Greek history, the following is open to interpretation.)

Greek soldiers in the first “300”: 300 (duh)
Greek soldiers in the second “300”: Way more than that
Reasons why “Rise of an Empire” is still called “300”: 456,068,181, a.k.a. the first film’s worldwide box office gross
Two worse title ideas for “Rise of an Empire”: “300 2,” “301”

Total runtime of “Rise of an Empire”: 102 minutes
Time it takes until the first appearance of the franchise’s signature trademarks:
A Greek six-pack: 10 seconds
Graphic decapitation: 30 seconds
Gratuitous nudity: 40 seconds
Slow-motion CGI blood spray: 1.5 minutes
Total runtime of “Rise of an Empire,” minus all of the above: Maybe 12 minutes

Time between the “300” movies in real-life: 7 years
Time between the “300” movies in “Rise of an Empire”: Minus 10 years (Act 1), 0 years (Act 2), and plus 1 or 2 days (Act 3)
Characters who return from the first “300”: 5 (well, 6, if you count Leonidas’ head)
Bad-ass female characters in the first “300”: 1
Bad-ass female characters in the second “300”: 2 (a 100% increase!)
Does “Rise of an Empire” pass the Bechdel test?: Definitely not

Dimensions used in the first “300”: 2
Dimensions used in “Rise of an Empire”: 3
First prop to fly at the screen: A giant axe
How long that takes: 25 seconds
Other things that fly at the screen: Too many to count (including, but not limited to, swords, spears, arrows, horses, decapitated heads, blood, sea monsters, and a distracting amount of tiny specks of dust)

Total body count of the original “300”: 585
Total body count of “Rise of an Empire”: Probably way more than that
Limbs cut off: 10
Heads cut off: 8 (with about a dozen more implied)
Decapitated heads subsequently kissed: 1 out of 8
Other ways to die: Too many to count (including, but not limited to, being slashed, stabbed, drowned, lit on fire, crushed by a boat, crushed by a horse, by a slow-motion kick, and disappointing Artemisia)

Naval battles: 5
The various rates by which the Persians outnumber the Greeks: 3:1 (soldiers), 100,000: 1 (soldiers), 20:1 (ships), 100: 1 (soldiers), and finally, 895: 6 (ships)
Times that actually effects the battles’ outcome: 0

Blood sprays per shot: 5-6, on average
Blood sprays per battle: Hundreds
Deaths per shot: 3-4, on average
Deaths per battle: Hundreds
Abs per shot: 4-5 six packs, on average
Abs per battle: Again, hundreds

Amount of the movie dedicated to slow-motion action scenes: 50%
Amount of the movie dedicated to slow expository voiceover: 40%
Amount of the movie dedicated to six packs: 10%

Doors left open for another sequel: 1
Things that made this “300” movie better than the first: 2 (the naval battles and Eva Green)

“300: Rise of an Empire” is now playing in theatres.

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