PECS flex, torsos ripple and bearded men growl, but it’s a woman scorned who spills the most blood in Noam Munro’s turgid sequel (of sorts) to the 2007 swords and sandals epic.
Based on Frank Miller’s graphic novel Xerxes, 300: Rise Of An Empire unfolds before, during and after the fierce Battle of Thermopylae chronicled in the first film.
Zack Snyder, who helmed the original and has since made Watchmen and Man Of Steel, defers the director’s throne to Noam Munro. He continues the heavily stylised, slow-motion slaughter and eye-popping production design.
Once again, colours are saturated and the contrast between light and dark intensified, although jettisons of blood have lost their rich scarlet hue in the sequel, presumably to guarantee a 15 certificate given the profusion of decapitations and dismemberments.
Carnage is unrelenting, as are the legions of swaggering beefcakes with impressive sweat-glistened six-packs, who allow their perfect gym-toned bodies to be impaled.
My rating 6.5/10
Check your local cinema for show times.