Mike: Tonight we are reviewing Pompeii, an action movie in 3D about the last days of the Italian city as Mt Vesuvius erupts.
What did you think Michael?
Michael I: I don’t like using this term about a multi-million dollar, high budget film, but in my opinion, Pompeii is stale. Like week-old Italian bread.
What’d you think?
Mike: In one word, this movie is Ridiculous. This movie suffers from being really proud of way too many over the top effects while rehashing a crummy story that we have seen before. Aside from the fact that we should all know what happened in Pompeii, everything in this movie was predictable.
Michael I: Overall, the script is okay, although it’s a derivative of Titanic, but some of the dialogue is blah. “Kill them. Kill them all.” How many times have I heard that line?
Mike: I think Titanic was a much better drama, even though it is also a movie where the whole audience knows how this is going to end.
Mike: This movie looks great, but it is all flash and no substance. The 3D was pretty good, but it is so dark in places, I thought, ” I really need to take off these sunglasses. Oh, wait…”
Michael I: The plot, mostly from IMDB: A slave-turned-gladiator, Milo (played by Kit Harrington), finds himself in a race against time to save his true love (played by Emily Browning), who has been betrothed to a corrupt Roman Senator (Kiefer Sutherland). As Mount Vesuvius erupts, Milo must fight to save his beloved as Pompeii crumbles around him.
Mike: When I saw that there was a movie called Pompeii coming out, I got excited, because I thought it was based on the book Pompeii by Robert Harris. That book was great historical fiction, but I’m not sure how much of this movie resembles history.
Michael I: In my opinion, the fight scenes were entertaining, if not the best thing about Pompeii. And it’s a bonus for this movie to come out weeks before the 300 sequel.
Otherwise, it could’ve been overshadowed.
Mike: The fight scenes were fine, but I’m getting tired of all of the period movies, where the hero somehow knows 21st century fighting techniques, but apparently no one else does. I think Gladiator and 300 did this all much better.
Michael I: Speaking of doing it better — the first scene tells us of Milo’s origin, however it reeks of Conan The Barbarian (which did it better!) And from there, the movie rarely impresses beyond the fight scenes. The 3-D is cool, and made me jump once, but Hollywood needs to stop pushing this technology down our throats unless they’re really going to use it well. It’s become a crutch for higher ticket prices. I would’ve thought for sure that Director Paul WS Anderson would’ve pushed the envelope considering he’s worked in that format previously on Resident Evil: Afterlife.
Mike: I’m sure the studios keep pushing for it too, but I’m sorry it is a fad. Like it has been about every 20 years since the 1950’s.
Michael I: And writer-producer-director Paul WS Anderson has done better work, and I’m more of a fan of his sci-fi movies Event Horizon and Pandorum than his other productions.
Mike: I actually love his Resident Evil movies. They are one of my guilty pleasures, but maybe he needs to stick to that kind of movie. There were times when this movie seemed like it was based on a video game. Maybe they should reverse things and make a video game based on this movie? How about “Vesuvius!”
Michael I: That’s the kind of levity this movie needed, we all know what’s going to happen — it’s a disaster movie — but between the romance and fight scenes, there was no comic relief. And I hate to spoil it, but I cracked up when a fleeing victim is nailed by a raining brick. Call me a sadist, but should the audience member really have to break a laugh after an hour-and-forty-five minutes?
Mike: Speaking of romance, that might have been the least believable part of the whole film. I liked seeing Kit Harrington of Game of Thrones fame in a big budget movie,but there is absolutely no chemistry with Emily Browning. In fact the love story is pretty thin and emotionless.
Michael I: Emily Browning’s character doesn’t get a leading lady-like introduction and it hurts the story. Whereas most men would find her attractive, she doesn’t seem unattainable for Kit Harrington’s gladiator character, Milo. Sure, she’s the daughter of Pompeii’s mayor, played by Jared Harris, but there’s a ho-hum quality attached to her from the very start. Also perhaps because her beauty is eclipsed by the actress playing her chambermaid, Jessica Lucas.
Mike: Oh and people getting beaned by falling rocks is pretty funny.
Michael I: I wish Kiefer Sutherland was hit by one, he’s starting to remind me more of his father, Donald, by the minute. I never noticed much resemblance until Kiefer aged and I saw his villainous mouth in 3-D.
Mike: He has sounded a bit like his father for years, but if he loses a little hair and grows a beard…
Michael I: So overall, how do you rate Pompeii?
Mike: I give this a 2 out of 5 stars. From the trailers I could tell how this movie was going to be and unfortunately I was right. There are no surprises and I think even the teenagers who love special effects extravaganzas like this will find it tiresome. How about you?
Michael I: I’m giving Pompeii 3 out of 5 stars. It’s a nice ride, but it’s unfortunately nothing special. It could’ve been an epic movie, but they didn’t execute the concept well.
Or maybe I’m just not in on the joke.
Director: Paul W.S. Anderson
Actors: Kit Harrington, Emily Browning, Kiefer Sutherland
Writers: Janet Scott Batchler, Lee Batchler, Michael Robert Johnson
Theatrical Release Date: Feb. 21, 2014