Pompeii or Pomphay gurl, I lava you just the way you are or Mt Vesuvime, Mt Vesuviyou, Mt Vesuvius.
I don’t want to spoil the ending of this movie so I’ll have to try really hard to not mention the volcano exploding.
Oh wait. Dang.
Pompeii (or Pompe2 as it’s known in Ancient Rome) stars Kit Harington as Milo, who, as a young boy, witnessed the slaughter of his entire village of Horse Whisperers. Many years later, Milo has been traded from slavery into the life of a gladiator. By chance, he meets Cassia (Emily Browning) and kills her horse (not a euphemism). She is obviously immediately attracted to him but gross lol he’s just a filthy slave and she’s the crowned princess of Pompeii. Or the Mayor’s daughter… or something. Anyway, it is not long until the corrupt Senator Corvus (a sober Kiefer Sutherland) shows up and wants toget into Cassia’s toga, but don’t be fooled, he’s a giant ash-hole.
Corvus is like “why does she keep making eyes at that poor guy” and an extra is like “He’s from Game of Thrones” and Corvus is like “Um doesn’t she know 24 is coming back soon?” and the extra is like “no”. So Cassia hates Corvus, Corvus hates Milo and Milo hates volcanoes spewing lava onto his friends. Oh PS a volcano explodes.
Basically, Pompeii is what happens when you put equal parts of Titanic, Dante’s Peak, Gladiator and The Horse Whisperer into a bucket, and mix. But it’s not awful. I mean yes, it’s awful, but only in the sense that it’s exactly what you’d expect from it. I actually loved it and here’s why:
Take a look at that poster. Is that not the most splendid thing you’ve ever seen? Kit Harington has a sword, which is wonderful because a volcano’s only weaknesses are swords and sassy insults. (“Hey volcano, u think ur so hot but ur not!”). Meanwhile, Kiefer Sutherland looks absolutely fabulous, like he’s about to battle the volcano by properly accessorizing that cape. It’s pretty clear he’s only trying to marry Cassia in order to distract from his giant bodyguard (Sasha Roiz). And finally, poor Emily Browning :(.
There’s also the subplot of Milo’s gladiator status. More like frowniator. There’s maybe one great fighting scene, the rest look like the cafeteria scene from Mean Girls. Milo’s Regina George in this case being Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje’s Atticus. The two forge an unlikely friendship, that really is more interesting than the romantic storyline whatsoever.
A lot of the film’s effects budget went into trying to give Emily Browning emotions other than ‘vacancy’. There are also one or two really great set pieces that lend themselves to some pretty ok scenes. Director Mr Milla Jovovich (Paul W.S. Anderson) really only uses the 3D of the film effectively once, with plumes of smoke giving the scene a great sense of depth. Were you to see the film in 2D you’re not missing anything at all.
I feel like this is a film that will be unfairly bullied for doing exactly what it says on the box- but I have to be honest, there were a few genuine surprises for me, and I genuinely had a good time. There’s fighting for the boys, and there’s people being trampled to death and covered in lava for the girls! (I don’t know what girls like.) Was the film necessary? No. Dear god, no it definitely wasn’t. But as far as unnecessary blockbusters – this one will give you a good afternoon of enjoyment/mass murder.