Sunday, July 14, 2013

Prepare for MORE GLORY!

Like every other history lover/geek/nerd in the movie-watching world, I was pretty excited when, in 2006, the movie 300 exploded onto the big screen. Fans of the comic book series had an edge over those of us who had not experienced King Leonidas on the page, but I’m not sure that made a big difference to the non-purist crowd. For me, it coined the term “hot men in leather underpants” and is the only movie I’ve paid to see twice in the theatre in recent memory.

Now, the film that spawned catch phrases like “THIS IS SPARTA!” and “Let us fight in the shade” as well as a host of work out videos and Halloween spray-on abs has a sequel. Yes, 300: Rise of an Empire is due in movie venues in 2014.

…and I’m not sure how I feel about this.

Because the king dies in the end of the first film. You know this going in if you know your history. All the warriors we drooled over loved died, so…let’s take a look at the synopsis for the sequel, shall we?

“After its victory over Leonidas' 300, the Persian Army under the command of Xerxes marches north towards the major Greek city-states. The Democratic city of Athens, first on the path of Xerxes' army, bases its strength on its fleet, led by admiral Themistocles. Themistocles is forced to an unwilling alliance with the traditional rival of Athens, oligarchic Sparta whose might lies with its superior infantry troops. But Xerxes still reigns supreme in numbers over sea and land.” (IMDB, written by Garganuan Media)

So we have a new hero, and it’s presumably going to be a sea-based tale? Lena Heady and Rodrigo Santoro reprise their roles as Queen Gorga and Xerxes, respectively. I’m not recognizing a lot of other names in the cast, but that might be because they’re more a foreign group than American. It boasts the same action-animated style as its predecessor, and the abs and leather undies are still prevalent.

It’s interesting to note that this is not the first film ever made regarding Themistocles. He was a noted Athenian politician and general, one of the first not born to the aristocracy. During the first Persian invasion, he was one of ten Athenian generals who fought and led men at the battle of Marathon. The second Persian invasion culminated in two notable battles: Artemisium and Salamis. A lot of politicking and alliance building went on behind the scenes to try to do two things: unify the Greek city-states against the Persians, and lure some of the Greek allies from Xerxes’ side. One more battle forces Xerxes to give up and return home, finally defeated. Ironically enough, Themistocles ends up ostracized after some internal struggles following the war, and seeks refuge in Persia, working for their government.

So, given all that…will you go see this movie? I’m still not sure.

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