Overview: “Oh, look, a volcano! Lets build our city there, then try to be Rome. Hopefully Paul W.S. Anderson doesn’t make us look really stupid in 2014. Boom! Ruuuuun!”–– The People of Pompeii (probably). Tristar Pictures/Filmdistrict; 2014; Rated PG-13; 105 minutes.
A Whole Bunch of Shit: This movie is so constipated it hurts. The whole mess is painful and pointless. I can’t imagine the amount of time and money wasted here without getting stomach cramps. Anderson tries to flex his creative muscle but damn… does he fail miserably. First off: he had to borrow the back-story from one of the most intriguing phenomenons ever. Next, he pulled together a cast of known names in hope of attracting an audience. Then, finally, he took on a script and let loose a bowel movement of every cliché ever.
Plot (Read the First Definition When You Type Plot Into Google): Kit Harrington plays Milo. Milo is poor. Milo is forced to fight. Milo falls in love with a rich man’s daughter, then BAM! Kiefer Sutherland. Sutherland plays Corvus, a corrupt Roman senator who wants to wed Cassia, the rich man’s daughter and Milo’s object of affection. Corvus sucks and tries to ruin everything. Then the volcano erupts. I think I covered everything but honestly, it doesn’t matter because it’s all so shallow and poorly constructed that it marks the first time in civilized human history that the sight of a catastrophic volcanic eruption leads the masses to say “Oh, Thank God.”
What was that?: I have to wonder if Anderson flat out asked everyone to act corny or if it was just a decision that the actors made on their own that he let them run with? Carrie Moss mutters maybe 15 words the entire movie and Emily Browning doesn’t have much to say either (which backs up my previous statement that he used the actors to attract an audience). Both actresses used stunning looks and beautiful eyes to keep our attention (which almost works). And Kiefer Sutherland gives his worst performance to date (including all the video game voiceovers).
The Saving Grace: Okay, well that heading was deceptive. There really isn’t a saving grace. Even its relatively impressive visual effects can’t elevate this movie out of the molten stretch of diarrhea erupted upon it by Paul W. S. Anderson
Watch This if: You want to ruin your night or the mystique of one of the most fabled tragedies in human history.