In the Battle of Marathon in ancient Greece, a brave hero named Themistocles saved the undermanned Greek forces by launching a surprise attack against the forces of Persia, making landfall and planning their own attack the next day. He kills the Persian king, Darius, with a well-placed arrow shot, sending Darius' son Xerxes deep into mourning. Xerxes is told to discontinue the war, as the Greeks have the gods on their side, and only gods can defeat the will of the gods. With the help of the ruthless female navy commander Artemisia, Xerxes finds the will to wander into the desert, stay in a mystical cave, and emerge from his experience as a God King. The Greek council is compelled to try to form a peace treaty with Xerxes, but Themistocles helps them realize the truth: there will be no peace. He gathers a fleet of ships and sails to meet the Persians at sea. He wishes the Spartans and their considerable navy would join them, but, revealing this story runs parallel to the first film, the Spartan king Leonidas has chosen to march to war with Xerxes instead, bringing his forces to wage battle on land. Themistocles wins the first few battles against Artemisia's lieutenants, showing creativity in battle, ramming the Persian ships and luring them into rocky waters that they may capsize. Artemisia is impressed and longs for Themistocles to rule an army by her side. She invites him to her ship and they have sex, but when he refuses to join her in battle, this makes her all the angrier. As the Persians crank up their forces and more Greeks die in battle, Themistocles' options run short. He ramps up for one final battle, one power move, all the while praying the Spartans show up with reinforcements so they don't all die.
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Best part of story, including ending:
For a movie with this much sex and violence, it's terrifically dull, save for the performance of Eva Green as Artemisia, who is amazing.
Best scene in story:
The sex scene between Themistocles and Artemisia combines both animal sexuality and their primal desire to kill one another, making it incredibly funny, surprisingly suspenseful, and weirdly erotic.
Opinion about the main character:
Themistocles is unfortunately portrayed by Sullivan Stapleton, about as wooden as a leading man gets. The script is weak, which hurts even worse.