300: Rise of an Empire is neither a sequel nor a prequel to the original 300 movie. The film begins before the events of 300 then take place during 300 and finally come to a conclusion after the events of 300. This film follows the story of a Greek general, Themistokles as he prepares for war against the evil and relentless Artemisia, the woman who's family were slaughtered when she was just a kid and now lives a life of violence and hatred.
I was actually a fan of the first 300 movie and was really looking forward to this sequel. The first film was really a guilty pleasure movie for me as it was so over the top, violent, quotable and just a bunch of fun and so going into this movie I pretty much knew it would be the same sort of thing. If you enjoyed the first film, like I did, then you will almost certainly be able to have fun with this sequel. It's twice as gory and over the top, but somewhat less quotable. This is not to say that there are no awesome quotes, there is one particularly great one towards the end.
This new 300 is much much bloodier than the first film and this really helped to make it a fun movie. This movie is just mindless entertainment in the most positive way possible. The film features a very large amount of fake CGI blood that's frequently over the top and gory, but without it the film wouldn't be nearly as fun. But there is A LOT of blood in this movie.
The film doesn't run for too long and hardly slows the pace down. One of the few problems I had with the first movie was that it ran for just a little too long and in this sequel this isn't the case. The film is a mere hour and 42 minutes long and is very fast paced. The film just kicks right into the action with blood-spilling and violence taking place all over the screen and from here to the end it hardly ever stops or slows.
Eva Green's character steals every scene she's in. There are so many movies where the bad guy gets more fans that the protagonist such as Darth Vader in Star Wars, Loki in Thor and The Avengers and Hannibal Lector in Silence of the Lambs (all of which are great movies) and in 300: Rise of an Empire Eva Green's character will join this list. Her character is just so incredibly badass and enjoyable to watch plus I cared more about her than I did the main character. There's also a rather interesting and unforgettable sex scene in the movie that will be one of this film's most memorable moments.
There were a few moments were the CGI needed a fair bit of improvement. These films are known for being 99% CGI and full of slow motion shots and I don't have a problem with this, but when you can see traces of the green screen in the character's hair then I've got a problem with it. There were more than a few scenes were either every character was obviously not played by an actor, but made on a computer or the green screen was visible through the outline of the characters and this really isn't good for a professional hollywood movie.
To sum up 300: Rise of Empire is wild, violent, over the top, incredible bloody, the right runtime, fast paced and features a great villain which makes it just as much a guilty pleasure as the first film. There were just a few dodgy CGI moments.