It’s STACK‘s Friday Flick time, where each week we recommend some quality viewing that’s sure to get your weekend off to a great start. This week, it’s 300: Rise of an Empire.

This spectacular follow-up to Zack Snyder’s 2006 swords-and-sandals green-screen epic runs concurrently with the events of the Battle of Thermopylae, in which King Leonidas led 300 Spartans against Xerxes’ Persian army. So you don’t need to have seen 300 before diving into this one.

Rise of an Empire turns its focus on what’s happening out in the Aegean, as a fleet of Persian warships – commanded by the ruthless Artemisia (Eva Green) – closes in on Greece. It’s up to general Themistokles (Sullivan Stapleton), who brought down the Persian king Darius with a well aimed spear, to engage Artemisia’s navy.

Retaining the hyper-stylised visuals of its predecessor, 300: Rise of an Empire is a flesh and blood eye candy overload that manages to be even more gloriously over the top – and arguably more enjoyable – than the original.

Four reasons why 300: Rise of an Empire rocks:

1. The fabulous Eva Green, who alone makes this a must-see.

2. The spectacular CGI gore, designed for 3D.

3. GoT‘s Lena Headey reprising her role as Sparta’s Queen Gorgo – shades of Cersei Lannister!  

4. Aussies Sullivan Stapleton and David Wenham fighting for the Greeks.  

Buy now at JB Hi-Fi

Check out STACK‘s previous Friday Flick recommendations here.