Pompeii (91%)

Story: 4.5/5  The story is about the central character, a gladiator, whose presence in Pompeii coincided with when Mt Vesuvius erupted in 79AD.  Some of the scenes are brutal, but given the time in history, I found the violence to be integral rather than gratuitous; perhaps even tamer than I can imagine such a life might have been.

Yes, there is a romance element.  Ordinarily, I’m a bit put off by romance in disaster movies/stories, because I think it’s a lazier way to explore the ‘making of a hero’; of showing he has heart, honor and something to lose. However, the romance sub-plot is just about everywhere, so I can’t pick on this particular story.  In any case, in this instance it worked for me.  Who’d have thought?


Direction:  4.5/5  Apart from a couple of minor casting problems (which this director may not have been able to control) and personal preference to see more volcano-related detail, I can’t really pick fault.  There’s a lot to look at.

Acting:  3.5/5  As is often the case in this genre, there was a mix of acting ability among the cast.  I quite liked watching Kit Harington, Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje, Emily Browning and Jessica Lucas – but Kiefer Sutherland did not portray enough power to pull off such a pivotal role.  For me, he nailed nastiness, but not with the sort of potent strength needed as the foundation to tie the hero’s story with the local political environment.

Sets/Locations:  5/5  What can I say.  Computer generated and real – it was beautiful.

Special Effects:  4.5/5  Some aspects of the volcano were riveting, such as when the ground fell away into the river before the eruption.  I’m not a volcano expert, but other aspects seemed a bit more about spectacle than realism.  Still visual glue though.

Music: 5/5

Engagement:  5/5

So overall, I rated this movie 32 / 35 = 91%.  I’m surprised that it scored that highly, but I must admit that I’d watch it again.

PS:  Scenes from this movie appear in a YouTube video, titled ‘The Real Pompeii (Full Documentary)’:



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