Title: Pompeii (Official Tumblr)
Tag Line: No warning. No escape.
Release Date: 21 February 2014
Runtime: 105 min
Genres: Action | Adventure | Drama | History | Romance
Series or Standalone: Standalone
Where Seen: Theater (screening)
Production Company: Constantin Film Produktion
Distributed By: TriStar Pictures
Director(s): Paul W.S. Anderson
Writer(s): Janet Scott Batchler (screenplay), Lee Batchler (screenplay), Julian Fellowes (screenplay), Michael Robert Johnson (screenplay)
Stars: Kit Harington (Milo), Emily Browning (Cassia), Jessica Lucas (Ariadne), Kiefer Sutherland (Corvus), Currie Graham (Bellator), Joe Pingue (Graecus), Sasha Roiz (Proculus), Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje (Atticus)
Rating: 2.5 out of 5 stars
Pompeii is one of those movies that I wasn’t sure if I wanted to see it or not. On one hand I love history and the romance and tragedy that is Pompeii. Growing up I read several articles and books about this city and so was curious to see how it was all going to be portrayed on film. Then I saw the previews and the only thing I could say they had going for them was Kit Harington’s abs. Seriously…look at those abs…
Therefore, I was excited to receive screening passes to the movie which is always a win-win situation when you are on the fence for a movie. The screening got off to a very rocky start when the movie started in 3D and those that were running it didn’t hand out glasses before hand. There was then a mad scramble of everyone trying to get 3D glasses, no apologies from the staff organizers, and no pausing of the film which resulted in a few minutes in the beginning getting missed.
Pompeii begins when Milo was a child and learning of his origins before he was taken as a slave by the Romans. From there it jumps to his being an adult and a gladiator in Londinium. Where he’s eventually brought to Pompeii as he is that good of a fighter and this is the Roman’s way of bringing him up to the big leagues. One his way there he meets the lovely Cassia and after some long stares, a tragic accident, and few words exchanged the seeds are set for a grand love affair.
Speaking of longing stares, if I have a choice of a tag line for Pompeii it would be the movie where everyone stares longingly at each other. And ever so often there is the stare of seriousness and the stare of revenge. There are lots of stares in this movie. There is some bad dialogue, over acting (mostly by Kiefer Sutherland), and special effects that get a tad be wonky and bad as things go all explody. The whole plot line of Pompeii is seriously weak and predictable but I can deal with a poor plot when the action in a disaster film is over the top good. I did like the imagery of the city of Pompeii and the costuming but once things started to go boom they all just sort of fell apart.
Overall, Pompeii was just a so-so movie with a so-so cast and it will probably be forgotten not long after its released. Pompeii was predictable, and not just because we know the volcano is going to explode. It just was filed with so many cliches and as none of them were done particularly well. This is also one that you should probably see in 2D as there is really nothing special or added by the 3D effect. There is a lot of fight sequences and those were done decently and took away from all the staring across rooms and arenas. It just wasn’t enough to make up for all that was no so good about this movie.
My Recommendation: Might want to save this one for RedBox. And then just pause it on Kit Harrington’s abs at that opening shot of him (see above) and stare longingly at it. Because Harrington’s abs really are among the best things in this movie and they are sadly under utilized.