Movie Review: Pompeii

Grade: B

Movie Review: Pompeii
Milo (Kit Harington) and Corvus (Kiefer Sutherland) battle to the finish in TriStar Pictures' POMPEII.

Popularly known for directing dark and sinister movies such as the “Resident Evil” franchise, Paul W.S. Anderson retells the dismal and infamous tale of the Mount Vesuvius eruption in 79 A.D. in the thoroughly action-packed and visually compelling “Pompeii.”

The film opens with an eerie quote by Pliny the Younger, a Roman who witnessed the explosion of Vesuvius.

“You could hear the shrieks of women, the wailing of infants, and the shouting of men… Many besought the aid of the gods, but still more imagined there were no gods left, and that the universe was plunged into eternal darkness for evermore.”

Cut to a brutal battle scene that’s ensuing from the perspective of a young boy named Milo who witnesses Roman soldiers slaughter his Celtic tribe, including the ruthless murder of his mother committed by the merciless Senator Corvus (Kiefer Sutherland, “24”). Hiding but to no avail, the child is captured and enslaved under Roman rule.

Flash-forward 17 years and the boy has transformed into a chiseled and mature man. Bearing a bitter and weary expression, Milo (Kit Harington, “Game of Thrones”) enters the battle arena as a slave-turned-gladiator and swiftly takes down several opponents. During his journey south to the city of Pompeii where he is to further compete against other slaves as a form of entertainment, he forms an instant connection with Cassia (Emily Browning, “Sucker Punch”) the beautiful and free-spirited daughter of wealthy merchants in Pompeii.

“Pompeii” possesses the qualities of a thrilling and historically somber storyline, yet Milo and Cassia’s affair lacked a sense of realism throughout the film and was slightly underdeveloped. The plotline was so focused on the conclusion that there was an absence of support to build an authentic connection between the pair.

Despite the weak romance, the movie does boast superb acting and impressive CGI effects in its entirety. “Pompeii” does deliver its promise of violent conflicts and explosive scenery, but was missing the genuine love affair and emotion that would have made the film relatable and believable.

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