(SPOILER WARNING!!! This article does contain spoilers, if you haven’t seen the movie, just see the first paragraph to be informed without spoilers!!!)
Pompeii had decent action and acting, but the story line for this movie was completely sub par and cliched, and I feel that this movie could have been a lot better if they took the time to make a story than concentrate on only the action. Rating: 2.5 Stars out of 5.
Back when I was a kid, the history of Pompeii was a moment in world history that always interest me for some odd reason. A great city destroyed by a volcano, and all that there is left is ash. It definitely had the potential to be a great disaster movie, which intrigued me to go watch this movie, but I should have known that it wasn’t going to be good storywise. I mean just look at the poster, and you know why. So I’m disappointed because all the work they put in the action, they could have put in their story. What can I say Hollywood, it is a bad habit y’all have, and probably never be fixed. i will start with what I didn’t like to the so-so, to the what I like.
So obviously what I didn’t like is the story. They tried to use a Titanic storyline (which is now cliched) of a princess of Rome falling in love with a slave. Add that with the cliche of a guy whose whole family is destroyed by some general of Rome, becomes a slave, and now seeks vengeance on the general who is now a Senator. Then in dramatic fashion the volcano destroys everybody. I’m kind of glad they ended it that way, but with a very cheesy kiss scene before they died just made me sick. It is what it is, and I get some people are a sucker for romantics. It’s just not for me. I’m also disappointed with Keifer Sutherland playing the villain as Senator Corvus. Sutherland has all the makings to be a great villain, but in this movie, all I see is a bully taking advantage of his power to get what he wants. Typical villain if you ask me. Sutherland just did what’s best for what is written for him and that’s what we get. (Can 24 come back already). Also when I did some research of the director, Paul W. S. Anderson, I realized why i didn’t like the movie so much, cuz he is responsible of destroying some of my favorite video games into dreadful movies like Resident Evil and Mortal Kombat. He is notorious for making good action, but no story.
Now for the so-so. The way they painted Pompeii was nice to show the potential of this once great city, but I thought the action was decent at best. I wish it was Rated R to see more gore in this type of movie. To really see what happens when you are devoured by lava. I believe in a R Rated movie it would have improved tremendously with the battle scenes. Especially the first gladiator fight where it would have the potential to be like 300 or Gladiator. However, for a PG-13 movie we get the best of what it is I guess. The battle scene were entertaining, but it can’t even compare to The Game of Thrones or even Thor: The Dark World. As for the volcano eruption scene, it was cool to watch at first, but it decided to go all Armageddon style with fireballs from the volcano wrecking havoc to the city of Pompeii which got old real quick. When the lava starts flowing to the city, the movie was pretty much done killing off the main characters. It just ended a little boring, but what can we expect for a PG-13 of a volcano disaster.
The one thing I did like in the movie is the overall acting. Carrie-Anne Moss and Emily Browning playing the royal Aurelia and Cassia did well for what it was written for. The two characters that really attracted my attention was the main character Kit Harrington playing Milo and Adwale Akinnuoye-Agbaje as Atticus. I’ve never seen a movie with Harrington, but judging by his role as Milo in this movie, i believe he will have bigger movie roles to come. I was impressed with his style of acting and fighting, and found his taste for vengeance believable. It is just to bad his romantic scene with Emily Browning was too cheesy. As for Agbaje playing Atticus, I really enjoyed his character as a slave Gladiator fighting for his freedom. I knew Agbaje is a good actor after seeing him playing Algrim in Thor: The Dark World, and he continued his acting in Pompeii. I enjoyed the chemistry between Atticus and Milo, from not liking each other to actually becoming great friends. Probably the only powerful scene in this movie when he finally kills Senator Corvus bodyguard, Proculus, played by Sasha Rolz, and the lava comes towards him, he says,”Finally, I am free!!!” More powerful moment than Milo finally getting his revenge on Senator Corvus. At least the movie had great acting, but it couldn’t save it from a weak story line.
Overall, the movie was decent in acting and action, but lacked a story line which is a bad habit that Hollywood has. Maybe that’s why I wasn’t feeling this movie at the end. It didn’t really grabbed my attention as it should have. It is a favorite moment and lesson in my history class, but this movie just didn’t do justice, maybe cuz i just wanted more gore. I don’t know, but it is what it is!!! Rating: 2.5 out 5 Stars