Pompeii the movie went on premiere in the USA last February but I watched it just two weeks ago. Here is my review.
A young Celtic boy from the horsemen tribe witnessed how Romans killed his parents. 17 years later that boy, now a young man, was a good fighter. He was sold as a slave in Londonium. His lanista (the term of a Gladiators owner) had him shipped to Pompeii.
On the way he travelled together with a princess. Well, she sat in a chariot and he walked, chained along side. They eyes met and they noticed each other’s presence.
Arrived in Pompeii, the slave was set to fight to a gladiator the following day. The gladiator was to earn his freedom, this would be his last fight.
Back to the princess. A Roman senator visited her father for business. Then the senator asked her to marry him which she refused. This is the same senator who attacked the Celtic horsemen tribe and killed the slave’s parents.
The conflicts continued while the volcano released the signs of eruption. The following day broke down, gladiators fights were on and after a while the volcano erupted and destroyed the city.
I won’t go into details, at the end everybody dies.
The eruption of mount Vesuvius in 79 AD was the first documented volcano eruption in the history ever. This was the reason I watched this movie.
I should have known better though. Given the fact that Kit Harrington (Jon Snow in Game of Thrones) plays the leading role, this is a blockbuster which would like to profit from Harrington’s rising as a new hottie in show business.
The acting is the movie was so so. Kiefer Sutherland is the mean Roman senator Corvus. Carrie – Ann Moss is the princess’ mother. It was for me quite odd to see her playing a vulnerable woman. I had her printed in my mind as the kicking ass Trinity from The Matrix Trilogy. Apart from those well – known names the rest of the cast is quite new on a wide screen. They perform ok.
This movie is actually a love story, a princess falls in love with a slave.
The special effects are stunning though so are the costumes and props. However there is a major mistake as Pompeii is not directly situated at the foot of mount Vesuvius. It is approximately 25 km from it. In between there was another city called Herculaneum.
And, another important fact which was wrong in the movie, Vesuvius erupted at 1 pm! It was nighttime and most people were sleeping. Pompeiians were definitely not watching Gladiators fighting.
At the end I got my fix about Roman history although it was not accurate. Despite a promising opening, a quote of Pliny the Younger describing the devastation of Pompeii, this movie is bland. It is just a thin love story packed with one of world’s big disasters.
Disappointed, I set my thumb down like senators used to do after a Gladiator fight. I give it a 5.
The map is courtesy of COTF.