Pompeii (2014) Poster

Pompeii (2014)

  • Rate: 6.4/10 total 1,233 votes 
  • Genre: Action | Adventure | Drama | History | Romance
  • Release Date: 21 February 2014 (USA)
  • Runtime: USA:98 min
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Pompeii (2014)


Pompeii 2014tt1921064.jpg poster

  • IMDb page: Pompeii (2014)
  • Rate: 6.4/10 total 1,233 votes 
  • Genre: Action | Adventure | Drama | History | Romance
  • Release Date: 21 February 2014 (USA)
  • Runtime: USA:98 min
  • Filming Location: Cinespace Film Studios, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
  • Director: Paul W.S. Anderson
  • Stars: Kit Harington, Emily Browning, Kiefer Sutherland | See full cast and crew »
  • Original Music By: Clinton Shorter   
  • Soundtrack: Going Off
  • Sound Mix: SDDS | Datasat | Dolby Digital
  • Plot Keyword: Pompeii | Senator | Mount Vesuvius | Gladiator | Epic

Writing Credits By:

    (in alphabetical order)

  • Janet Scott Batchler  screenplay
  • Lee Batchler  screenplay
  • Michael Robert Johnson  screenplay

Known Trivia

  • Leading man Kit Harington underwent an extreme physical transformation for the film at his own behest. After he read the script, he went up to director Paul W.S. Anderson and told him that to portray the strength of the character as written in the script, he would transform his physique completely. Consequently, Kit Harington undertook a heavy ‘bulking’ regime and a diet of 3000 calories a day to put on 2 stone of weight in 5 weeks. He then went on a very severe diet and ‘cutting’ regime for 4 weeks to cut back from 12 stone to 10 stone acquiring intense muscle definition in the process. Kit Harington later said that he was very pleased with the results and that it was the best shape of his life. 62 of 63 found this interesting Interesting? YesNo |
  • This is the second feature movie collaboration of Kit Harington and Carrie-Anne Moss within the span of two years. 19 of 27 found this interesting Interesting? YesNo |
  • The first official teaser trailer of the movie was released on August 21, 2013, six months before the theatrical release in USA. Coincidentally, that is also actress Carrie-Anne Moss’s birthday. 9 of 23 found this interesting Interesting? YesNo |

Plot: 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. Full summary » |  »

Story: Set in 79 A.D., POMPEII tells the epic story of Milo (Kit Harington), a slave turned invincible gladiator who finds himself in a race against time to save his true love Cassia (Emily Browning), the beautiful daughter of a wealthy merchant who has been unwillingly betrothed to a corrupt Roman Senator. As Mount Vesuvius erupts in a torrent of blazing lava, Milo must fight his way out of the arena in order to save his beloved as the once magnificent Pompeii crumbles around him. Written bySony Pictures Entertainment

FullCast & Crew

Produced By:

  • Paul W.S. Anderson known as producer
  • Jeremy Bolt known as producer
  • Don Carmody known as producer
  • Hartley Gorenstein known as line producer
  • Robert Kulzer known as producer
  • Martin Moszkowicz known as producer
  • Peter Schlessel known as executive producer

FullCast & Crew:

  • Kit Harington known as Milo
  • Carrie-Anne Moss known as Aurelia
  • Emily Browning known as Cassia
  • Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje known as Atticus
  • Jessica Lucas known as Ariadne
  • Jared Harris known as Severus
  • Joe Pingue known as Graecus
  • Kiefer Sutherland known as Corvus
  • Currie Graham known as Bellator
  • Dylan Schombing known as Young Milo
  • Maxime Savaria known as Biggest Thracian
  • Ron Kennell known as The Weasel
  • Tom Bishop Sr. known as Cassia's Carriage Driver
  • Rebecca Eady known as Milo's Mother
  • Sasha Roiz known as Proculus
  • Jean-Francois Lachapelle known as Milo's Father
  • Jean Frenette known as Boss Slaver
  • Dalmar Abuzeid known as Felix
  • Emmanuel Kabongo known as African Gladiator
  • Brock Johnson known as Flashback Centurion
  • Kristina Nicoll known as Rich Wife #1
  • Janine Theriault known as Rich Wife #2
  • Mark Whelan known as Ship's Captain
  • Anaïs Frenette known as Harbor Child
  • Donna Christo known as Harbor Mother
  • Thomas Stumpo known as Harbor Boy
  • Melantha Blackthorne known as Celtic Woman (uncredited)
  • Milan Carmona known as Roman Boy (uncredited)
  • Jimmy Chimarios known as Gladiator (uncredited)
  • Jay Da Costa known as Roman Citizen (uncredited)
  • Derek Herd known as Slaver (uncredited)
  • Patrick Kerton known as Celtic Gladiator (uncredited)
  • Ben Lewis known as Fulvius Fronto (uncredited)
  • Alain Moussi known as Celtic Gladiator (uncredited)
  • Jon Rhys known as Roman Archer (uncredited)
  • Goran Stjepanovic known as Nose Break Thracian (uncredited)
  • Joe Vercillo known as Gladiator (uncredited)



Supporting Department

Makeup Department:
  • Cassie Bragg known as prosthetics trainee
  • Graham Chivers known as special makeup effects artist
  • Allan Cooke known as makeup effects sculptor
  • Jeff Derushie known as mold/lab technician
  • Andrea Gray known as prosthetics trainee
  • Paul Jones known as makeup effects designer
  • Lucy Leland known as prosthetics trainee
  • Kayla Waymark known as prosthetics trainee
  • Shane Zander known as prosthetic makeup effects artist

Art Department:

  • Colin Adams known as assistant property master
  • David Best known as assistant art director
  • Carlos Caneca known as leadman
  • Allan Cooke known as props sculptor
  • Brian Cranstone known as on set carpenter
  • David G. Fremlin known as assistant art director
  • Christopher Geggie known as property master
  • Alexandra Hooper known as set decoration seamstress
  • Kim Hurter known as art department apprentice
  • Naeim Khavari known as storyboard artist
  • Stefany Koutroumpis known as set designer
  • Marc Kuitenbrouwer known as construction coordinator
  • Matthew Lammerich known as key scenic artist
  • Erin Leslie known as lead scenic artist
  • Alessandra Querzola known as set decorator: prep
  • Ken Sinclair known as set dresser (2014)
  • Howard Swindell known as concept artist
  • Adrienne Trent known as second unit property master
  • Evan Webber known as set designer
  • Ulrich Zeidler known as concept artist




Production Companies:

  • FilmDistrict (presents)
  • Constantin Film Produktion
  • Don Carmody Productions
  • Impact Pictures

Other Companies:

  • Entertainment Partners Canada  payroll services (uncredited)
  • Helicopter Film Services  aerial filming and coordination
  • Koenigskinder Music  soundtrack
  • Milan Records  soundtrack
  • Pivotal Post  Avid HD editing equipment
  • Tattersall Sound  adr recording services
  • Wildfire Studios  editorial facility
  • William F. White International  grip and lighting equipment


  • TriStar Pictures (2014) (USA) (theatrical)
  • Constantin Film (2014) (Germany) (theatrical)
  • E1 Films Canada (2014) (Canada) (theatrical)
  • Energía Entusiasta (2014) (Argentina) (theatrical)
  • Entertainment One Benelux (2014) (Netherlands) (theatrical)
  • Entertainment One (2014) (UK) (theatrical)
  • Odeon (2014) (Greece) (theatrical)
  • Pro Video Film & Distribution Kft. (2014) (Hungary) (theatrical)
  • SND (2014) (France) (theatrical)
  • Shaw Organisation (2014) (Singapore) (theatrical)
  • Sony Pictures Releasing (2014) (USA) (theatrical) (all media)
  • Lionsgate (2014) (Non-USA) (all media) (sales)
  • Mongkol Major (2014) (Thailand) (all media)



Other Stuff

Special Effects:

  • Rocket Science VFX (visual effects)
  • Mr. X (visual effects)
  • Paul Jones Effects Studio

Visual Effects by:

  • Keith Acheson known as visual effects artist
  • James Albiez known as visual effects artist
  • Tim Alexander known as asset supervisor
  • Khan Aman known as matchmove artist
  • Alfredo Octavio Arango known as stereo tracking & layout: Mr.X inc
  • Engin Arslan known as lighting artist
  • Greg Astles known as senior digital compositor: Mr. X Inc.
  • Mangesh Awate known as visual effects artist
  • Emi Baba known as digital artist: Scanline VFX
  • Sam Baker known as animator: Mr. X
  • Sarah Barber known as animation production manager: Mr. X Inc.
  • Stas Basko known as digital compositor
  • Drew Beekler known as roto, paint, comp artist
  • Vishal S. Bendre known as cg artist
  • Dennis Berardi known as visual effects supervisor
  • Kyle Boylen known as digital compositor
  • Jeremy Braben known as visual effects director of photography: Italy
  • Alex Branton known as digital compositor
  • Alex Branton known as tools development
  • Pankaj Brijlani known as matchmover
  • Robin T. Brown known as digital compositor
  • Robert J. Bruce known as compositor
  • Ayo Burgess known as digital effects supervisor: Mr. X Inc.
  • Cristian Camaroschi known as visual effects artist
  • Wilson Cameron known as visual effects producer
  • Zac Campbell known as digital compositor
  • Daniela Campos Little known as matchmove artist: Mr X
  • Atilla Ceylan known as character artist
  • Andrew Kin Fun Chan known as digital artist
  • Andy Chan known as senior visual effects compositor: Mr. X Inc.
  • Alexis Chapman known as roto/paint supervisor: ScanlineVFX Vancouver
  • Alex Cheparev known as senior modeler
  • Cyril Frederick Chu known as concept artist and senior digital matte painter
  • Ryan Cromie known as senior texture artist
  • Ryan Cunningham known as visual effects coordinator
  • Sagar Dabir known as matchmove artist
  • Cesar Dacol Jr. known as senior modeler: Mr. X Inc.
  • Graham Day known as digital compositor: Mr. X Inc.
  • Christopher DeVito known as cg animator/rigger
  • Michael DiCarlo known as visual effects coordinator
  • Stacey Dodge known as visual effects coordinator
  • Becca Donohoe known as compositing production manager
  • Nathan Englbrecht known as lighting artist
  • Tyler Esselstrom known as lighting technical director
  • Bryan T. Evans known as stereoscopic tracking supervisor
  • Brian Fortune known as compositor (Scanline)
  • Shaun Galinak known as visual effects artist
  • Wei Gao known as digital compositor at Mr. X
  • Jack Grundy known as visual effects artist: Mr. X Inc
  • Trey Harrell known as lighting supervisor: Mr. X
  • Oliver Hearsey known as tracking lead: Mr. X Inc.
  • Martin Hesselink known as lead animator
  • Jep Hill known as cg supervisor
  • Timothy Hoffman known as senior look development and lighting artist
  • Chung-Yin Hsieh known as background plate prep: Scanline VFX
  • Jo Hughes known as visual effects producer
  • Colin Hui known as visual effects artist
  • Aleksandr Isakov known as digital effects artist
  • Jeremy Johnson known as digital compositor
  • Aman Khan known as matchmove artist
  • da Suel Kim known as visual effects artist
  • SungJune Kim known as visual effects artist
  • Dmitriy Kolesnik known as fx artist
  • Norman Krüsmann known as digital effects artist: Scanline VFX
  • Lorne Kwechansky known as senior lighting artist
  • Caroline Labrie known as animator
  • Julius Lechner known as digital effects artist: Scanline VFX
  • A.J. Lee known as visual effects artist
  • Daniel Lee known as senior compositor
  • Gong Myung Lee known as CG supervisor
  • Marco Lee known as digital compositor
  • Sunkwan Lee known as visual effects artist
  • Benoit Lefebvre known as senior stereo tracking artist
  • Paul Lemeshko known as vfx td
  • Claudia Li known as visual effects coordinator: Scanline
  • Mark Lieberman known as lead paint and roto artist
  • Devin Lim known as visual effects artist
  • Jacys Cheng-Yu Lin known as visual effects artist
  • Tim Llewellyn known as compositing supervisor (Mr X Gotham)
  • Lukas Lundberg known as fx artist: Mr. X Inc.
  • Chris MacLean known as cg supervisor: Mr. X
  • Vimal Reddy Mallireddy known as fx artist: Mr.X Inc
  • Ruben Mayor known as fx artist: Mr. X Inc.
  • Dave McGhie known as senior compositor
  • Jessie Milne known as rigging td
  • Meherzad Minbattiwala known as digital compositor: Soho VFX
  • Mauro Moretti known as fx artist: Mr.X Inc
  • Thomas Grant Morrison known as lighting artist
  • Benjamin Mossman known as data wrangler: Mr. X Inc
  • Mohsen Mousavi known as vfx supervisor: Scanline VFX
  • Erin W. Nash known as digital compositor
  • Makarand Nazirkar known as rigging td
  • Yuhay-Ray Ng known as visual effects artist: Mr. X Inc.
  • Marcin Nikiforuk known as matte painter: Soho VFX
  • Kelly Noordermeer known as visual effects editor
  • Dave Olivares known as visual effects artist
  • Sonny Ong known as visual effects artist
  • Alessandro Pantanella known as digital compositor
  • Chris Pember known as digital artist
  • Diego Piccinato known as lead compositor: Scanline
  • Mike Portoghese known as digital compositor
  • Raval Rachit known as digital compositor
  • Karthic Ramesh known as digital compositor: Soho VFX
  • Guillermo Ramos known as digital compositor
  • Shinichi Rembutsu known as visual effects artist
  • Florent Revel known as stereo matchmove artist
  • Scott Riopelle known as compositing supervisor
  • Eric J. Robertson known as visual effects
  • Andy Robinson known as digital effects supervisor: Mr. X Inc.
  • D. Eric Robinson known as digital effects supervisor
  • David Roby known as digital artist
  • Mark Rodziewicz known as lighting artist
  • Brandon Schaafsma known as vfx dailies editor: Mr. X Inc
  • Milan Schere known as senior matte painter: Mr. X Inc.
  • Seema Schere known as matte painter: Mr. X Inc.
  • Matt Schofield known as matte painting supervisor
  • Keith Sellers known as visual effects supervisor: Soho VFX
  • Shlyaev Sergey known as fx artist
  • Joanne Seto known as tracking/matchmove artist
  • Shareef Shanawany known as effects technical director
  • Ahmed Shehata known as lead technical director: Spin VFX
  • Ian Spriggs known as lead character modeler
  • Daniel St-Amant known as digital compositor
  • Anja Stitic known as lighting artist: Mr. X Inc.
  • Bobby Stockport known as visual effects artist
  • Jim Su known as Rigging Supervisor Scanline VFX
  • Adrian Sutherland known as lead digital compositor
  • Sarah Swick known as visual effects producer: Soho VFX
  • Rob Tasker known as digital compositor
  • Brendan Taylor known as visual effects supervisor: second unit
  • Mike Terrigno known as digital compositor
  • Brandon Terry known as visual effects editor
  • Jeff Tong known as modeling/stereo matchmoving: Soho VFX
  • Jamie Tracey known as data wrangler
  • John Treusch known as visual effects artist
  • Alek Vacura known as modeler
  • Ben Warburton known as digital compositor
  • Tim Warnock known as matte painter
  • Sunny Wong known as digital compositor
  • Tuba Yalcin known as effects technical director: Scanline VFX
  • Michelle Yhan known as digital compositor
  • Lexi Young known as visual effects artist
  • Celine Zoleta known as on-set data wrangler
  • Celine Zoleta known as visual effects coordinator

MPAA: Rated PG-13 for intense battle sequences, disaster-related action and brief sexual content



Filmography links and data courtesy of The Internet Movie Database

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Posted on February 23, 2014 by Harry in Movies | Tags: , .


  1. edwardanthony9 from Singapore
    23 Feb 2014, 6:00 am

    I would want to say that this film feels different, yet somehow it feltfamiliar. The film felt different thanks to the climactic volcaniceruption, which added an extra dimension to the final act, yet in everyother minor plot detail, it felt as if I've seen the act many timesbefore. Overall, though, it is a joy to watch, despite the minor flawsthroughout the film.

    One strong point in which I enjoy the film were the action sequences,which mostly are very practical sword fights, that turns out to bequite fun and enjoyable with the fast & swift hits. And then throughoutthe end, the suspense of the danger can be felt, which I attributemostly to the decent soundtrack. Soundtracks which are supportivetowards the appropriate situation is always a great thing to have. Andwhile the visual effects were not perfect, it didn't really matter interms of the overall experience.

    Yet the film is dragged down by minor flaws along the way. There was nohumour in the mix, and while there is no deep emotional drama as well,at least I can still feel for the character. There are times where Ifelt that the scenes were not supposed to happen yet, although in theend, I could at least care about what's going to happen to thesecharacters. And the closing scenes were too abrupt, where they couldinstead have added some finishing lines/quotes or maybe give someaftermath/future scenes. These minor details kind of let down whatwould otherwise be a solid thrilling disaster film.


    Good: Great action sequences, Decent soundtrack & suspense

    Bad: No humour, Lack of emotional touches, Abrupt ending, (Minor flaws)

    SCORE: 7.0


  2. alanclarke714 from United States
    23 Feb 2014, 6:00 am

    Pompeii is directed by Paul W.S. Anderson, and centers around thecharacter of Milo, who is a man that stands against the Roman empireafter he is put into slavery and becomes a gladiator in Pompeii. Hebefriends a fellow gladiator and slave Atticus, who helps him fightback against Rome and also ventures to save Cassia, who is to bemarried to Senator Corvis, a corrupt official.

    The movie is actually not as bad as i thought it was going to be. Sure,it is still not an award-winning masterpiece like Gladiator, but for aCG-filled action-fest about Pompeii, it actually worked well. Thevisual effects were very good (the effects that were made for 3Dweren't as much), the musical score by Clinton Shorter was great(echoing the greatness of Gladiator, Kingdom of Heaven and even Game ofThrones), and Anderson's directing, i personally would say is his besthere. Now, the acting, i have mixed feelings for. Emily Browning wasgood as Cassia (nothing amazing), Kiefer Sutherland was great as anantagonist, and Kit Harrington was (sadly) not as good as he is in Gameof Thrones, but still good. The show-stealer is AdewaleAkinnuoye-Agbaje as Atticus, who is very similar to that of DjimonHounsou in Gladiator, and for me, his performance brought tears.

    Pompeii is not a classic in any sort of way, but is one i woulddefinitely see again and own when it's released on disc. I never wouldhave thought this movie would be actually good, but i hope they have anextended cut for a disc release because they could have made the movielonger.

  3. mbabaev from Moscow
    23 Feb 2014, 6:00 am

    This was a complete waste fo time. Here are the main reasons:

    1. The performance by the main characters was very poor and artificial.2. The director did a bad job, as did the editor. 3. The main story isweak and uninspired. There are clichés all over the place. Dialogue ispoor and boring. The whole story is completely dubious and it is hardto take the movie seriously. 4. Historically speaking, the filmsacrifices the real events that occurred for the sake of extra specialeffects. The fact that two cities were destroyed before anything got toPompeii is ignored completely. The 'fire rain' on Pompeii also neverhappened, as did the tsunami. It simply made no sense to add everythingbut the kitchen sink into this movie. 'The Gladiator' was fictional,but it never claimed to be anything else. This film claims to be basedon real events, when it clearly isn't in the most important aspects ofwhat happened that day. In Pompeii, people died because they inhaledthe smoke, not because fire rained down on them or tsunamis washed themaway. The arena (stadium) was never destroyed by the earhquake and itstill stands in Pompeii to this day. Dubious to the extreme.

    Overall very very poor.

  4. didonatope
    23 Feb 2014, 6:00 am

    It's pretty much impossible to deny that "Pompeii" is a flawless film.It's love story is clichéd and and its lighting at times leaves much tobe desired. On the other hand, I believe the term "guilty pleasure"fits perfectly here, as I certainly enjoyed this movie enough torecommend it.

    "Pompeii" tells the story of the legendary natural disaster thatcovered the Italian city of Pompeii and its residents in ashes,preserving their bodies for eternity. Like "Titanic," "Pompeii" mixesin a star-crossed lovers story into the disaster genre. Following therich- girl-loves-poor-boy trope, a wealthy woman named Cassia (playedby Emily Browning of "Sucker Punch") falls in love with an enslavedgladiator named Milo (played by Kit Harrington of "Game of Thrones").When Pompeii's volcano erupts, it is up to Milo to save Cassia frombeing left to die in the eruption (there is more to the story but Idon't want to give anything away).

    Admittedly, the love story is by far less convincing than the one inTitanic. The two leads Cassia and Milo spend a bare minimum of timegetting to know each other and their relationship lacks development.However, in a disaster movie that focuses more on providing audience-pleasing thrills, this is much less of a problem than it could havebeen.

    On the contrary, Milo's relationship with a fellow slave named Atticus(played by Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje of "Thor: The Dark World") issurprisingly well developed throughout the film. In the first act, Milolearns that he must face Atticus, a man who has been promised freedomafter one more battle. Several scenes of dialogue in a prison cell andaction in the arena they are forced to fight in give the audience agood feel for who these characters are and give a good enough reason toroot for them. Considering that this is a disaster movie made by PaulW.S. Anderson, both characters have a substantial amount of substanceto them, and the actors give good enough performances to make theirfriendship believable.

    On the subject of Mr. Anderson, I have never really been a fan of hiswork. "The Three Musketeers" was mediocre at best and his "ResidentEvil" movies are absolutely dreadful. Here he seems to have improvedhis ability to tell a story, though there are a few flaws here andthere that carry over from his other works. Much like "Alien vs.Predator," Anderson struggles to properly light a few nighttime scenes,casting what could have been a great looking shot into 50% blackness.In addition, his editing can occasionally be choppy, but compared tosomething like "I, Frankenstein," it's nowhere near as jarring.

    To his credit, which I believe is often overlooked, Mr. Andersoncertainly knows how to stage and take advantage of an action setpiece.One scene involving gladiators fighting soldiers chained to a spikedpillar made full use of its environment, and will likely have audiencesentertained. Something else worth nothing are the special effects; theyare very well done and it is clear that the VFX team put a lot ofeffort into bringing the legendary eruption of Mt. Vesuvias to the bigscreen. What's even better is the 3D; lately 3D has been sorelymediocre in Hollywood films, but in this case it is very effective.From volcanic ashes to falling beams of wood, "Pompeii" succeeds intaking full advantage of the 3D technology with stunning results.

    The last act of the film is among one of the most thrilling disasterscenes I have ever scene in recent years. Fans of disaster movies willlikely be pleased by all of the mindless carnage and destruction, andlike "2012," the visual grandeur is seat-grippingly epic.

    "Pompeii" is nowhere near a high-quality film, nor is it free fromtypical Hollywood clichés. However, this was not a film that left mefeeling insulted or just jaded. Rather, this was actually a memorabledisaster/action period piece that I could easily recommend taking somefriends to see. The experience alone is pretty damn cool.

  5. moviexclusive from Singapore
    23 Feb 2014, 6:00 am

    Paul W.S. Anderson has never been a director of story or character;instead, as he had demonstrated with five chapters of the 'ResidentEvil' franchise, it's all about giving his audience the most bang fortheir buck with pure action spectacle. And just as he did with zombiespreviously, Anderson spares nothing in recreating the destruction ofthe ancient Italian city laid to waste by the eruption of MountVesuvius in A.D. 72, so rest assured that it does deliver genuinespectacle as it promises.

    The only catch? The volcano only erupts an hour into the movie, whichalso means that Anderson has to grapple with his twin Achilles' heelsof story and character for that same duration. We won't kid you – thewait till fire and ash rains down from the legendary mountain is quiteliterally a slog. The fault isn't entirely Anderson's; though theleaden direction is to blame for the cliché-ridden melodrama, it is thescreenwriters Michael Robert Johnson (Sherlock Holmes), Janet ScottBatchler and Lee Batchler (Batman Forever) who are responsible for theutterly pedestrian script and some truly cringe-worthy dialogue.

    What they have done essentially is to take a gladiator drama and throwin a 'rich girl/ poor boy' romance in the vein of 'Titanic' as apretext for the inevitable eruption, with the former relatively morefleshed out than the latter. To set the stage, we see a young Celticboy watching his parents being murdered by the ruthless Corvus (KieferSutherland) and his top soldier Proculus (Sasha Roiz), both Romanguards whom you know the same older boy will come face to face withlater on. Fast forward to seventeen years later and the boy named Milohas developed into a strapping gladiator known as 'The Celt', pickedout amidst a grubby Londinium arena for the big league in Pompeii.

    Milo's meet-cute with his romantic interest Cassia (Emily Browning)happens en route to Pompeii, when the latter's carriage becomes stuckin the mud and causes one of her horses to suffer a severe fall. In anact of kindness, Milo kills the horse with his bare hands to put himout of its misery, and immediately earns Cassia's fondness. Back inPompeii, Cassia's father Severus (Jared Harris) and mother (CarrieAnne-Moss) play host to Corvus and his Roman entourage, whose favourthey depend on to fund their plan to revitalise the city by buildingaqueducts. Turns out however that Corvus is only doing so to forceCassia's hand in marriage, whom he unsuccessfully courted while thelatter was still back in Rome.

    In the meantime, Milo forges an acquaintance with Atticus (AdewaleAkinnuoye-Agbaje), one of the fiercest fighters who is according to thelaw just one fight away from earning his freedom. Needless to say,Atticus soon finds that his masters have no intention of honouring thelaw, and instead of being opponents, Milo and Atticus team up to rebelagainst their captors. All this culminates in a nicely shot showdown inthe town's coliseum, where Milo and Atticus take on an entire Romanbattalion in order to simulate Corvus' invasion of the Celtic homeland.

    From that time on, Anderson's best instincts as a filmmaker take over,injecting the moribund proceedings with a much-needed shot of life thatimmediately jolts his viewer out of his seat. The sight of Vesuviusstarting to boil over is a truly humbling one, even more so when itstarts to rain fire, rock and lava down on the hapless citizens ofPompeii, not excluding our protagonists. Anderson skilfully cutsbetween wide shots offering birds-eye views of the scale of thedevastation and close-ups of the disaster from the point of view of itsvictims, and it is to his credit – as well as that of hiscinematographer Glen MacPherson and VFX supervisor Dennis Berardi -that we are simply and surely transfixed.

    Lest you think it's all about the volcano, well the calamity turns outto be much more multi-faceted. Besides watching out for fire and rockfrom above, those looking for a way out of Pompeii are also eitherswallowed into the ground as the earth underneath them collapses or areswept away by an enormous tsunami precipitated by the tectonic forcescausing the same eruption. As if that weren't enough, our star-crossedlovers also have to contend with Corvus' relentless pursuit, whileAtticus proves a more than worthy ally against Proculus. Andersonchannels his best inner Roland Emmerich to ensure that his disastermovie never has a boring moment once nature's tragedy strikes, andlet's just say the last 45 mins is tense and exciting stuff.

    Even so, Anderson threatens to be undone by a perennially weak link inhis movie, and that is the quality of the acting. 'Game of Thrones'star Kit Harrington is no less wooden than he was in the HBOminiseries, and there is almost zero chemistry between him and 'SuckerPunch' actress Emily Browning. Though '24' star Kiefer Sutherland looksout of place in a sword and scandal epic like this, he proves moreentertaining than our leads in a borderline campy manner. The best ofthe lot is without a doubt Adewale, who brings unexpected dignity andgravitas to his role in a movie that generally demands much less fromits performers.

    But really, one should not expect differently from 'Pompeii', which aswe said at the beginning is no more than an opportunity for Anderson toleverage on historical events to deliver an action-filled disastermovie packed with visual spectacle. As long as you can get past thatfirst hour, the prolonged cataclysmic climax will grip, astound and aweyou – and since this is meant to be a disaster movie first and anaction- romance second, the priorities are just right.

  6. Hywel Thomas from United Kingdom
    23 Feb 2014, 6:00 am

    Princess Bride, but played straight, with no self-awareness or humour."My name is Milo. You killed my father. Prepare to die!".

    Avoid. The fight scenes are entertaining, but so prolonged that one istaken out of the movie to think "Yeah, but there's no way he'd be ableto *keep* fighting for this long".

    The whole audience (in Paris) laughed at the final utterly ridiculousframes. This was meant to be poignant/heartbreaking – like Titanic. Theaudience by then just wanted it to be over.

    There are a few wooden performances, but I suspect it's hard not to bewith this script and direction. Even so, Sutherland should be ashamedof his showing in this. He must just have been counting his pay thewhole time.

    Also: 'Milo' the Celt ?? How about using Celtic name?

  7. shawneofthedead from http://shawneofthedead.wordpress.com/
    23 Feb 2014, 6:00 am

    Few films have looked more terrible than Pompeii in the months leadingup to its release. Its overblown, ridiculous poster – boy and girlkissing passionately as the world erupts in flame and fire around them- was matched only by its overblown, ridiculous trailer. Everythingblows up! Everyone dies!! Nobody cares!!! And yet – against all odds -Pompeii isn't actually all that bad. In fact, it demonstrates morenarrative complexity than anyone might dare to expect, paired withtruly interesting characters who must live out their sombre fates inthe boiling shadow of Mount Vesuvius.

    The film opens, in all places, in Ye Olde Britannia, where we witnessthe diabolical Senator Corvus (Kiefer Sutherland) massacring a nomadictribe of horsemen. Milo (Kit Harington of Game Of Thrones) is the solesurvivor of the carnage, a wee lad who grows up to become a fierce,battle-ready slave. On his way to Pompeii to fight in its arena, hemeets Lady Cassia (Emily Browning), a wealthy heiress who's returningfrom Rome, weary of the politics and men she has encountered there.

    Obligatory love story aside, Milo is also forced into a life-or-deathsituation with Atticus (Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje), an honourable blackslave who's one death-match away from winning his freedom. As mattersboth personal and political swirl through Pompeii, the looming volcano- taking its name from Vulcan, the Roman god of fire – sends tinyshock- waves through the streets: a promise of the horror anddestruction that will soon seal the city and its inhabitants into thevery earth upon which they tread.

    The minor miracle of Pompeii is that it takes this faintly sillypremise – the fact that Milo is a honest-to-god horse whisperer is anactual important plot point – and makes it work. Paul W.S. Anderson,director of schlocky, vaguely terrible films like Mortal Kombat, AlienVs. Predator and Resident Evil, juggles character and actionsurprisingly well, allowing one to reinforce the other. The spiky,grudgingly respectful relationship that springs up between Milo andAtticus – two men who have every reason to loathe and resent eachother, for one cannot live while the other survives – is particularlydelightful. As they trade insults, threats and advice, the duo go frommortal enemies to something else entirely – and it's a wonderfultransition to watch.

    Anderson even cooks up some great drama with his love story, whichcould easily have been a soppy, grossly under-written romance. Therelationship itself boasts a fair few groan-worthy moments, due largelyto Milo and Cassia forging a connection via her most favourite horse inthe whole wide world. But what's considerably more intriguing about itis the political web that's woven around it: her parents (played indignified, doomed fashion by Jared Harris and Carrie-Anne Moss) mustnegotiate with Corvus, the evil personification of a corrupt, greedyRome. When Vesuvius blows, so too does the class system: the wealthydie as easily as the poor, and it's a point well-made as Pompeiishudders to pieces around and beneath its populace. Oddly enough, thefilm's cracks only become more evident when the literal fault-linesstart to appear. As the volcano spews smoke, then bursts of lava andshowers of ash, Pompeii becomes an enormous disaster epic thatstruggles mightily but ultimately fails to shrug off its mediocrity.The special effects are mostly good – there's a cracking moment when aship crashes through a channel of houses – but, because the scale ofthe disaster is so terrifying, it's hard to take it seriously whencharacters stop in their tracks, engaging in dramatic confrontationsand sword-fights rather than running for their lives.

    Even then, there's some perverse fun to be had in watching Milo'sentire life boil down to one spectacular, ash-strewn battle with Corvus- it's blatantly and completely ridiculous, but this is the point whenthe brain you thought you had to switch off at the start of the filmcan take a nap. It certainly helps that, instead of cowering in thecorner, whimpering or unconscious, Cassia leaps into the fray as well.In this day and age, we shouldn't have to single out a strong femalecharacter in an action-packed disaster epic – but, unfortunately, wemust. Apart from a couple of damsel-in-distress scenes, Cassia ispleasingly spunky, running circles around Corvus at every availableopportunity.

    The cast is mostly agreeable: Harington has a limited selection offacial expressions from which to choose, but he's suitably steely andnoble as secret equestrian Milo. Browning is quite charming, andSutherland has the time of his life as raving villain Corvus. But thereal scene-stealer here is Akinnuoye-Agbaje, who plays the tragedy andtriumph of Atticus so powerfully that he almost – almost – makes youbelieve it when he delivers a speech to an uncaring, unlistening… uh,volcano.

    Strictly speaking, Pompeii falls short on many counts. The ending ofthis slightly silly story is a foregone conclusion, and it's sometimeshard to care as these characters flounce about in the throes of theirpersonal drama when chaos is about to, quite literally, explode allover them. But it's also unexpectedly entertaining: a guilty-pleasurefilm that's actually got quite a bit more going for it than its specialeffects.

  8. (richard@berrong.fr) from United States
    23 Feb 2014, 6:00 am

    While I had great hopes for this movie – I wanted to see a recreationof life in Pompeii and, of course, the effects of the eruption ofVesuvius – I was also afraid, since there is no star power here, thatit might be a cheesy action/disaster flick, of which there are alreadymany.

    It isn't that bad, frankly. Yes, the plot is obvious, and yes, thescript is strictly paint by numbers. No, there is no great acting here,but no one embarrasses himself, and there are no real stinker lines.

    The love story has no chemistry and is completely forgettable, butthen, who goes to an action/disaster movie for the love story?

    What's good here?

    1) The combat in the arena near the end. (You know the eruption willstart during the big combat, right? You've no doubt seen "SanFrancisco" (1936), with MacDonald, Gable, and Tracy, the model for allsubsequent disaster pics of this kind.) Some of it is clever anddownright funny.

    2) The eruption. Actually, the eruption itself is nothing special. Butit is fun to watch the principles ride through the streets of Pompeiias the city is being pelted by flaming stones from the volcano.

    What disappointed me? The death of the Black gentle giant. I thought heshould have escaped.

    What is meant to appeal to teenage girls? The final kiss. I won't tellyou what makes it especially romantic.

    This will probably be a real dud on a TV-sized screen. See it in thetheater. No, it's not Spartacus, certainly, or San Francisco. But it'sstill fun.

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