The film’s standout character this time around is not its hero but its key villain. As we quickly learn, Rodrigo Santoro’s would-be conqueror is all-but a pawn in the vengeful schemes of Eva Green’s Artemisia.
It is hard to argue that Green “steals” the picture when she is one of its lead characters, but hers is the kind of unapologetic arch-villain role that is all-too rare for actresses. It is a terrific performance, and she is aided by a tragic back story that gives the whole film a moral depth that the first film lacked, one that all-but-mocks the self-righteousness of the first film. Green is flat-out spectacular here, giving a fully physical and genuinely shaded star turn that is almost as exciting as all of the hacking and slashing. She has a great confrontation with our hero that deliciously plays with the whole sex/violence shtick while offering real character development that somewhat pays off in the finale. She is worth the price of admission all by herself, and if there were more female roles of this nature in major studio releases I’d complain a heck of a lot less.
Read the full article on Forbes. Thanks to Antigonus for the link.