300: Rise of an Empire

History becomes a vulgar spectacle in this ultraviolent actioner about the second Persian invasion of Greece and the Battle of Artemisium. An Athenian general (Sullivan Stapleton) leads his muscle-bound countrymen against an evil king (Rodrigo Santoro) and the vast army led by his buxom second in command (Eva Green), a foul temptress with a murderous streak. The slow-motion battle scenes are technically impressive and occasionally elegant, but there’s enough machismo here to choke a thousand NFL locker rooms; thank cowriters Zack Snyder (who directed the original 300) and Kurt Johnstand for the rampant homophobia and chauvinism. In one scene Green and Stapleton meet to discuss a possible truce but wind up trying to out-fuck each other in a display of carnal superiority; she eventually succumbs to his, uh, will. Noam Murro directed.