Film Review: Explosive Conclusion is the Fate for ‘Pompeii’

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Average: 5 (2 votes)

CHICAGO – For a film in which everyone knows the ending walking in, “Pompeii” creates a decent good-versus-evil precursor to the volcanic big bang, and enough sword and sandals style fight sequences to provide some action. It all comes down to an active volcano, in modern digital design and 3D.

HollywoodChicago.com Oscarman rating: 3.5/5.0
Rating: 3.5/5.0

Although the screenplay is stiff and old fashion, there is something reliable about Kiefer Sutherland playing a Roman senator villain in 79 A.D., and it always seems like he’s having fun while he snarls. The story unwinds as a revenge scenario, as Sutherland’s character slaughtered an entire town as a military officer, and Milo the Celt – who later became a slave – saw it all as a child, including his parent’s demise. The pre-volcanic activities includes a comely Pompeii maiden, and it becomes a Roman holiday for all, at least before the big bang. The special effects are smashing, and the Mount Vesuvius explosion is appropriately pyrotechnic – it is a disaster movie, after all.

Milo (Kit Harrington) is from the Celtic Horse tribe of Britainia in the first century of the first millennia. As a child, his territory is raided by the ruthless Corvus (Kiefer Sutherland), and all the citizens are killed, including Milo’s parents. The boy is captured and sold into servitude, but grows into an expert gladiator-type fighter bent on revenge. His date with Pompeii are during the fights at the coliseum.

The second part of his destiny occurs here. Milo’s expertise with horses allows for an encounter with Cassia (Emily Browning), daughter of a high official in Pompeii. They have a connection, but Milo is taken in chains to the stadium for the battle, while Cassia’s father Severus (Jared Harris) is trying to cut a deal with the now Senator Corvus from Rome. To get his freedom and his love, Milo must fight the Romans, with his fellow slave Atticus (Adwale Akinnuoye-Agbaje). In the background, Mount Vesuvius is smoldering, readying its destructive power.

“Pompeii” opens everywhere on February 21st. See local listings for 3D theaters and show times. Featuring Kit Harington, Emily Browning, Adewale Akinnouoye-Agbaje, Jared Harris, Carrie-Anne Moss and Kiefer Sutherland. Screenplay by Janet Scott Batchler, Lee Batchler and Michael Robert Johnson. Directed by Paul W.S. Anderson. Rated “PG-13”

StarContinue reading for Patrick McDonald’s full review of ”Pompeii”

Emily Browning, Kit Harrington
Bad Timing for Love: Cassia (Emily Browning) and Milo (Kit Harrington) in ‘Pompeii’
Photo credit: TriStar Pictures

StarContinue reading for Patrick McDonald’s full review of ”Pompeii”

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