'300: Rise of an Empire' Trailer: This Is Sparta! ... Again

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After multiple major delays, the long-awaited sequel to '300' is finally nearing release, and now Warner Bros. has revealed the new '300: Rise of an Empire' trailer. After all, we wouldn't blame anyone for thinking that this movie vanished into the ether or simply never existed in the first place. But is the wait worth it? What got accomplished during all of those delays? Will 'Rise of an Empire' live up to the still-popular first film? Ask your own rhetorical questions as you hit play.

A prequel and sequel to '300,' '300: Rise of an Empire' tells the story of Persian emperor Xerxes (Rodrigo Santoro), who invaded Greece and watched his army fall against King Leonidas' 300 spartan warriors. If the trailer is any indication, we'll get to see Xerxes' rise to power, his humiliating defeat at Thermopylae and his continued war against the Greek people. Since the new warriors seem to be waring blue cloaks instead of red, can we safely assume that they're Athenians instead of Spartans?

We don't mind the idea of a sequel to '300.' Heck, we don't mind this franchise's mangling of history as long as the finished films are entertaining. What we do mind is that '300: Rise of an Empire' looks a little too similar to the first film for its own good. After all, what was cool and groundbreaking in 2007 looks overly familiar today. We hope we're wrong, but this looks pretty weak, even with the involvement of actors as strong as Eva Green and Lena Headey. The fact that the trailer leans heavily on Zack Snyder's name despite his limited involvement is especially troubling.

'300: Rise of an Empire' arrives in theaters on March 7, 2014.

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