Set in the city of Pompeii, a gladiator known as “The Celt” is faced against his past and must fight for his life to survive against his foes and the imminent eruption of Mount Vesuvius.
Pompeii is directed by Paul W.S. Anderson and every time I see his name on a movie I know that it will be mediocre. He is the man behind all of the Resident Evil films, Death Race, Mortal Combat, Alien Vs Predator, Event Horizon and more. I wouldn’t say his films are bad because I do enjoy them. Pompeii is now among his other films as being enjoyable yet forgettable.
We currently live in a time where Roman and Greek history are popular to adapt to film and television. I was excited when I first heard a film about Pompeii is being produced but then I saw who was directing it and my expectations dropped. I would have loved to see a film of epic proportions displaying what historians think actually happened during the eruption of Mount Vesuvius. Instead we are shown another generic and predictable action film which featured gladiator arena battles. It wasn’t original and definitely didn’t bring anything new to the table. Also, when I say predictable I’m not talking about the volcano, I mean the characters and the plot points. I did find Pompeii to be fun and enjoyable like most of Anderson’s films. There were some great set pieces and the big gladiator battle was awesome. It made me realize that a film doesn’t have to be rated R to make gladiator fights look good and the blood wasn’t necessary.
Pompeii stars Kit Harrington (Game of Thrones), Emily Browning (Sucker Punch), Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje (Lost) and Keifer Sutherland (24). Harrington played the Celt but at first I felt he was a little out of place due to his size compared to the other gladiators. Most gladiators are big guys and Harrington is not. The film used his size to make his character quicker and more agile than others which I thought was smart. Emily Browning’s character, Cassia, played the love interest of The Celt who was a high born girl. I liked the romance plot between the two and how it evolved. Sutherland played a Senator from Rome who has history with the Kelt and an interest in Cassia. My favorite character was a gladiator named Atticus played by Agbaje. He had some pretty hilarious one liners. At least I found them to be funny.
Pompeii will most likely be forgotten in time but I think it is worth checking out when it is released on home video. There were some cool action set pieces that make it worthwhile but it failed to bring anything new or original. It was just another action film with a standard “Good Guy/Bad Guy/Love Story” film.
3/5 - Enjoyable