Release Date: February 21, 2014
Director: Paul W.S. Anderson
Run Time: 105 min
Screenplay: Janet Scott Batchler | Lee Batchler | Michael Robert Johnson
Staring: Kit Harington | Emily Browning | Kiefer Sutherland
Genre: Action | Adventure | Drama
Synopsis: Set in 79 A.D., POMPEII tells the epic story of Milo (Kit Harington), a slave turned invincible gladiator who finds himself in a race against time to save his true love Cassia (Emily Browning), the beautiful daughter of a wealthy merchant who has been unwillingly betrothed to a corrupt Roman Senator. As Mount Vesuvius erupts in a torrent of blazing lava, Milo must fight his way out of the arena in order to save his beloved as the once magnificent Pompeii crumbles around him.
My lord. I’m not really sure where to start to convey just how bad this movie is. I mean I don’t think I’ve seen a movie this bad since I saw Timeline. It really is difficult to describe just how bad Pompeii is and I kind of want to write it sucks over and over again, but I won’t.
I understand what the creators of this movie were trying to do. They were trying to capitalize on the success of movies and Televsion shows like 300, Gladiator, Rome, and Spartacus. They wanted the same people who tuned in week after week or showed up at the Theatre in droves to come out and see Pompeii. I get it. What they didn’t get is that you not only have to have a great story, but the right cast, and these were two things that Pompeii didn’t have.
The story was unbelievable predictable. A Roman slave falls in love with a Roman Noblewoman at first glance and tries to save her from from the cruel man she is to marry while trying to outrun an erupting volcano. And not just any erupting Volcano at that, but rather the Mt. Vesuvius. You know the one released ‘a hundred thousand times the thermal energy released by the Hiroshima Bombing’ (credit Wikipedia) and killed an ‘estimated 16,000 people’ (credit Wikipedia). There were so many plot holes it wasn’t even funny.
Then you can add in the terrible casting and dialog. Kit Harrington, who is supposed to be the lead, has like 5 lines throughout the entire movie. And even then, those five lines are delivered badly. He spends the entire movie brooding and trying to go for the dark and mysterious look. I’m not gonna lie, he looks hot in this one and the fact that he spends part of his time without a shirt is a bonus. The sad fact is that he is really too small in terms of physical size, and doesn’t have the acting chops (or at least he doesn’t demonstrate them here) to enable him to pull off being this undefeated Gladiator. I am not even going to really get into Emily Browning other than to say that I was distracted by her rather large ears every time she was in a shot. Every single time. Kiefer Sutherland was creepy, and not in a fear me because I am mean and insane kind of way. He was creepy in that funny uncle kind of way.
Honestly, the best part of Pompeii was watching Mt. Vesuvius erupt. And even then, watching the eruption was interrupted by the plot of the movie.