Director: Paul W.S. Anderson
Writer: Janet Scott Batchler, Lee Batchler, Michael Robert Johnson
Cast: Kit Harington, Emily Browning, Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje, Carrie-Anne Moss, Jessica Lucas, Jared Harris, Joe Pingue, Kiefer Sutherland, Currie Graham, Sasha Roiz
Milo (Kit Harington) is known as The Celt, a gladiator and the last of his people. Due to his good fighting, he is brought from Britannia to Pompeii where he is supposed to put on a good show. But as Vesuvius rumbles ever louder, Milo gets drawn in the affairs of Senator Corvus (Kiefer Sutherland) who has his eyes set on Cassia (Emily Browning). Cassia herself though is more impressed by Milo.
I don’t know what happened but it’s been a while that I brought alcohol to the cinema. In this case it was an absolute pity – because Pompeii would have been the perfect movie to get drunk to. While it doesn’t quite reach the craptacular dimensions of I, Frankenstein, they do play in the same league.
There are so many things I don’t understand about Pompeii – like why they had to make Milo Celtic to then drag him to Pompeii. Or most of the conflicts actually that seemed utterly nonsensical to me. Or the thing that passes for “plot” in this film. Or why the costume department decided to cover up Kit Harington’s abs for most of the movie.
Ugh, generally the costume and make-up departments’ decisions… Emily Browning looked like a photoshop-disastered version of herself, Kiefer Sutherland’s and Sasha Roiz’ characters both supposedly age about 15 years in the film – but you wouldn’t know it from looking at them, Jared Harris and Carrie-Anne Moss looked weird, too. Even Kit Harington’s abs look fake (maybe that’s why they’re covered up so much). The dresses Cassia and her maid Ariadne (Jessica Lucas) wear are ridiculous for the time period. [And then, weirdly, there are some rather accurate things about it – like an actual chorus at the gladiator “games” which you usually don’t get to see at all. Now that I think about it, though, it might have been the only accurate thing.]
The writing was pretty damn awful. From nonsensical dialogue (favorite: “I knew they’d never catch you, Milo. You’re too fast for all of them. [points to Cassia] Now I know why.”) to nonsensical conflicts to characters with one word character descriptions and nothing else, you really get it all. And to round things off, both protagonists get a black side-kick who gets to sacrifice themselves for them basically. It’s the perfect storm of bad writing.
Kiefer Sutherland and Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje had fun in the film at least. So did I, most of the time. I just wish it had been a little shorter.
Summarizing: If it had been a little shorter and a little more outrageous, it would have been the perfect shitmazing movie. It’s still entertaining though.