Pompeii has quite the cast helmed by Paul W.S. Anderson, who brought us the vehicle for his wife’s career, Milla Jovovich, in the Resident Evil movie franchise.
The film story description reads “A slave-turned-gladiator finds himself in a race against time to save his true love, who has been betrothed to a corrupt Roman Senator. As Mount Vesuvius erupts, he must fight to save his beloved as Pompeii crumbles around him.”
The cast includes a lot of familiar faces… Kit Harrington (Game of Thrones), Carrie-Anne Moss (Matrix), Emily Browning (Sucker Punch, The Uninvited), Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje (Thor The Dark World), Jessica Lucas, Jared Harris (Mad Men, Fringe), Keifer Sutherland (24), Sasha Roiz (Grimm, Warehouse 13, Carpica) and more.
Harrington plays a deadly slave gladiator who cares not if for his own life. Sutherland plays an atypical evil Senator while Sasha Roiz plays his evil by association right-hand man. The story is played out in Pompeii at the bast of that volcano. With that being said, we know how it is going to end. Right?
Harrington does not have a ton of material to work with as he portrays Milo, the man soon to be in love with the daughter of a local, influential Roman.
Sutherland plays the over-the-top evil Senator Corvus, and to be honest, as far as I can tell, his true talent is in yelling at terrorists and using cell phones that never die. But NOT being an evil Roman Senator. Ouch.
But if you like character players, I did enjoy Kitt’s portrayal, but even more so was Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje’s character delivery of Atticus, fellow gladiator. He delivers a mean ass-kicker nicely and was fun to follow along with.
The other actor I liked, but could not help the story, is Sasha Roiz. I’ve enjoyed him in everything he does, even THIS! But even he could not save the story from feeling so typical and boring.
The story progressed along and almost every scene seemed to reach for that over-the-top setting and makes sure you understand what it is about. Whether you want to or not. And I must say, this film embodies love at first sight, for no reason, well, quite nicely.
If I had gone to see this movie in the theaters I might have been upset about dropping bucks on it at the theater. But as a movie on a pay channel or whenever it might come to FX or whatever heavily ad populated network it lands on, it is at least a film worthy for what it is.
Pompeii is full of blatant, fun action, with obvious evil characters, or the ever intermittent reminder of earthquakes and crumbling dust from every building our characters habitate, and that true love that is always the landmark of any attempted emotional tug within a quickly drafted film story.
Not to mention Anderson shoots for those familiar poses of dead people that we have all seen that stem from this historical tragedy. That was almost way too obvious, along with the ripped off gladitorial scene he stages, straight from Gladiator.
If you see this movie coming up on your TV schedule, you may enjoy it, but beware, some of the fight scene editing can be fairly choppy and annoying but if you like rooting for the obvious action hero who spits in the face of evil authority, without ever paying a serious repercussion for it, then you probably won’t mind watching Pompeii.
As much as I knocked the film, it would make a great time killer, if nothing else. I’m saying this is a good popcorn six film.