"300: Rise Of An Empire" is the belated sequel to "300". I say belated as it's taken over six years to appear on the screen. Apparently this is down to Mark Miller and the time that it has taken him to write the novel that the film is scripted from. It's advertised as a sequel but in all honesty it's probably more of a companion piece as it tells the same story that was told in "300" only from a different viewpoint. "Rise" begins exactly where the first one ended but then jumps back to before the first one started and then runs concurrent for a bit and then jumps back for a bit. This makes the first third of the film,as we are introduced to the story by the way of a voice over by Queen Gorgo (Lena Heady reprising her role from "300"), slightly confusing.

Eventually everything does becomes clearer, unlike the muddy picture, as we find Themistocles,(Sullivan Stapleton, TV’s “Strike Back”), an Athenian general battling Xerxes (who you will remember, if you saw "300", is the mortal turned God ) as he invades Greece with his Persian forces. After exhausting all efforts to unite all of Greece and being refused help from Sparta by Queen Gorgo, Themistocles assembles a small army of free men to stop the Persian navy from landing on Greek soil. Leading the Persian navy is Xerxes's right hand women Artemisia (Eva Green), a Greek who has a score to settle with her own country. What follows as Artemisia and Themistocles each try and win control of the sea are endless sea battles where the combatants are either being skewered by swords and spears or are having their heads and limbs severed by axes, all in not so glorious 3D.

This is without doubt Greens film and without her this wouldn't be half the film that it is. The former Bond girl revels in her role and brings sexual tension to every scene that she's in. The meeting between Artemisia and Themistocles where they "discuss" a truce has to be seen to be believed. As well as oozing sex appeal Artemisia is easily a match for any of the men when it comes to dishing out violence, we see her decapitate a prisoner, but then kiss the lips of his severed head. Artemisia is a woman not to be crossed, telling Themistocles during the heat of battle that "he f***s better than he fights".

Unfortunately director Noam Murro doesn't appear to have the vision or imagination of Zack Snyder and Stapleton certainly hasn't the charisma of Gerard Butler, meaning that the whole things lacks the magic of "300". It's certainly entertaining but anyone who is not a fan of the first film or who hasn't seen it, might just wonder what all the fuss is about.

300: Rise Of An Empire (15)

1h 43m

Director: Noam Munro
Starring: Sullivan Stapleton, Eva Green, Lena Heady, Hans Matheson, Rodrigo Santoro, Igal Naor, Callan Mulvey, Jack O'Connell

UK Release: Friday 7th March 2014

300: Rise Of An Empire - "I Was Speaking Of Themistokles" Clip

300: Rise Of An Empire - "Seize Your Glory" Clip