run time: 105 mins
considered: Action, Adventure, Drama
starring: Kit Harington, Carrie-Anne Moss, Emily Browning, Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje, Jessica Lucas, Jared Harris, Joe Pingue, Kiefer Sutherland, Currie Graham, Dylan Schombing, Maxime Savaria, Ron Kennell, Tom Bishop Sr., Rebecca Eady, Sasha Roiz
movie summary: The ancient city of Pompeii was a beautiful and prosperous city in Italy that was destroyed during the volcanic eruption of Mount Vesuvius in 79 AD. Our story follows the life of Milo (Dylan Schombing), a gladiator who falls in love with a girl named Cassia (Emily Browning), and their daring attempt to escape from the volcano’s powerful eruption.
Milo was a young boy when a Roman army led by Corvus (Kiefer Sutherland) slaughters his village, killing his parents, and then selling him off into slavery. More than a decade later, Milo has become an extremely good fighting gladiator that gets sold to slave owner Graecus (Joe Pingue) who brings him to the great city of Pompeii. On the way there Milo meets Cassia who is stranded on the side of the trail with a broken down carriage. Milo offers his help and the two share an instant attraction to one another.
Once the slaves reach Pompeii he is thrown into a cell with Atticus (Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje) the great gladiator champion of the city, who is one victory away from earning his freedom. The plan is for Milo and Atticus to battle to their death in front of a visiting Roman Senator. Once a highly respected Roman military leader, Corvus has worked his way up the ranks and is now a Senator. His mission is to come to Pompeii and hear about Severus’ (Jared Harris) plans to reconstruct the city. Corvus informs Severus that the Emperor will not invest any money into his project but he would make a personal investment in exchange for his daughter’s Cassia’s hand in marriage. Surprisingly, the pair have met in Rome where Corvus took a liking to Cassia but she was disgusted by him so she left the city hoping never to see him again.
The night before Milo’s last battle earthquakes begin to shake the city but no one pays attention to them because they have happened so many times. Cassia’s horses have become restless in the stable and manage to break free, so she requests Milo go track them down. She joins him in his attempt to rescue her prized horse when he pulls on and they dart out of the city for a wild ride to the base of the mountain. Corvus and his men “rescue” Cassia and order Milo to be killed on the spot, she begs for his life so Corvus agrees to have him killed by Atticus in front of the whole city.
The next day the gladiator arena fills to capacity with the hopes of seeing lots of blood shed and carnage. They are about to be disappointed because during the night Milo and Atticus form a bond and agree not to kill each other, but to turn on the Romans and take out Corvus. Once Corvus sees that the pair are working together he orders his army to kill the two and despite being outnumbered manage to kill his whole army. Before the gladiators are able to set their sights on Corvus in the balcony, the earth opens up to swallow up the arena as the mountain begins to blow and send fire balls across the land.
Milo and Atticus manage to get out of the arena unharmed and go search for Cassia who has been put in a jail by Corvus for rejecting his hand in marriage. They manage to pull off the daring rescue just as the city begins to burn to the ground from hundreds of flying fireballs and flowing lava. Atticus returns to the arena to kill any remaining Roman soldiers and proclaims himself a free man before the ash cloud swoops down and kills him. Corvus gets on his horse chariot and kidnaps Cassia so Milo finds a horse and chases down his love as the city behind him is over come by lava. The three of them make it to the city limits where Milo catches Corvus and forces him to crash and get injured. The two then battle with swords as the buildings around them crumble, the lava grows closer, and the window to escape this disaster is closing every second.
my thoughts: Pompeii was like watching Titanic during the Roman Empire with a mix of gladiator and the Eagle all rolled into one. Let me break it down a little bit, Milo and Cassia’s romance is an exact copy of Jack and Rose’s love from Titanic. She is the wealthy girl who has an attractive powerful man who desires her, but is willing to risk everything in order to be with Milo who is just a poor slave fighter. Meanwhile their love story just happens to be set in the doomed city of Pompeii and when disaster strikes the couple will do whatever they can to survive. Milo plays a Russell Crowe type character from Gladiator, who is thrown into the arena and has to fight for his life on a daily basis. Anyone who has seen the Eagle starring Chantum Tatum and Donald Sutherland will know what I mean when I say there is a lot of Roman propaganda in this movie and there are many military Roman Eagles everywhere.
There was no need for this movie to be 3D except for the last 30-40 minutes when the mountain comes to life and spews fire balls and lava into our laps. The movie is slowed paced for the first hour and half and only gets exciting and watchable when things fall apart. The special effects are actually pretty spectacular even though the eruption seriously takes forever. The eruption sequence is so drawn out compared to other volcanic movies like Dante’s Peak and Volcano, that I don’t understand how the whole country didn’t have time to escape.
The movie Pompeii is based on ancient real life events with a love story thrown in to entertain movie goers who paid a lot of money to see a not so great movie. If anyone goes to see this movie, bring enough food to keep you occupied until the action starts when Mount Vesuvius blows up.
my star rating: 4 out 10
imdb.com: 6.4 out 10
rotten tomatoes: 24% out 100%
metascore: 40 out 100