Friday, March 7, 2014

Movie Review ... Pompeii


hr_Pompeii_6In the 1970’s the ‘disaster movie’ genre was hugely popular.  Usually overseen by famed Producer Irwin Allen, it spawned a cavalcade of drama amidst a litany of natural atrocities.  Seeing death and destruction seemed to be popular with the genre never really fading.  ‘Pompeii’ is the latest to use this formula.  Adding a dash of the biblical epics from the 1950’s, it’s an enormous film in scope.  Whilst hardly original it succeeds in emulating the epic feel of its forebears as the death toll mounts.

In 62 AD, the life of slave Milo (Kit Harington) changes.  Seeing his mother murdered by evil Senator Corvus (Kiefer Sutherland), he vows vengeance.  Growing to become a mighty gladiator Milo catches the eye of Cassia (Emily Browning) the daughter of Pompeii’s ruler Severus (Jared Harris).  Initially a pawn in Milo’s plan of revenge, Cassia is just as strong-willed as her new acquaintance.  Amidst this vengeful quest, Pompeii’s volcano threatens to erupt as forcefully as Milo’s percolating fury.

Although superficially exciting ‘Pompeii’ has little under its surface.  Overseen by the director of the ‘Resident Evil’ series, Paul W S Anderson, it’s hardly subtle.  The plot doesn’t amount to much given it’s merely a conduit for the admittedly eye-popping CGI and excellent action sequences.  These reveal Anderson’s visual flair with his imagination ensuring ‘Pompeii’ remains consistently watchable.

Apart from the spectacular images ‘Pompeii’ doesn’t amount to much.  The dialogue is laughable, characterisation is minimal and the acting uniformly dire.  It’s difficult taking things seriously when every Roman speaks in clear American accents.  Harington’s chiselled frame looks suitably gladiatorial despite his lifeless performance.  His co-stars ham it up for all its worth as they gently mock the cartoonish script.

‘Pompeii’ is a very silly popcorn flick requiring little thought.  By the time the volcano erupts it glides on auto-pilot with the facsimile of disaster epics failing to make one care about the fiery fate awaiting them.


Movie Review Rating out of 10:  3

Movie Review by Patrick Moore

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