Harington's Up Pompeii
As a child Milo (Kit Harington) watched and then played dead as the Romans, lead by Senator Corvus (Kiefer Sutherland - Mirrors), not only killed his family but slaughtered his entire people. Eventually taken in to slavery and turned in to a Gladiator, Milo finds himself taken from Britain to Pompeii, Italy where he not only befriends veteran barbarian Atticus (Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje) but also becomes close to Cassia (Emily Browning - Magic Magic) the daughter of one of the town's officials. But when Senator Corvus and his men show up Milo finds himself not only fighting for his life but fighting for revenge. But it is a revenge which is also a fight for survival as Mount Vesuvius erupts and Milo tries to not just save himself but also Cassia as a cloud of ash and rivers of lava engulf the town.
I was going to say that watching Paul W.S. Anderson's "Pompeii" made me think of a cross over between "Gladiator" and "The Day After Tomorrow" as we have gladiatorial fighting combined with mass destruction. But then whilst that describes "Pompeii" visually" it is also kind of akin to "Titanic" as we have this true disaster involving the eruption of Mount Vesuvius combined with a bit of a "Jack & Rose" love story. And to put it simply the combination of "Gladiator", "The Day After Tomorrow" and "Titanic" delivers big screen, popcorn entertainment for an audience who are entertained by big action, big effects and big moments of romantic heroicism.
The thing is that whilst "Pompeii" probably delivers everything that it intended to deliver the fact that it reminds you of other, frankly better movies is not something which is a plus point. It means, or at least as I watched, I found myself constantly comparing it to these other movies so whilst watching Kit Harington act moody and super brutally when it came to fighting it never felt quite as impressive as when Russell Crowe took it to the Maximus. And whilst watching clouds of smoke engulf the town of Pompeii with ash cascading down it strangely felt like scenes were almost copies of other CGI disaster movies such as when a wave crashed in and suddenly the streets become rivers.
Despite "Pompeii" never escaping the shackles of comparison and ending up feeling weaker than other movies it is still entertaining. Kit Harington does his best to act cold and moody whilst Kiefer Sutherland has tried to make Senator Corvus a man with mannerisms which make you despise him. But because "Pompeii" feels like it is trying to combine lots of different themes in to a tidy 105 minutes it never really has the time to really establish characters, storyline or relationships, preferring to concentrate on the visual aspects of the movie.
What this all boils down to is that "Pompeii" is entertaining and I wouldn't be surprised if it entertained a younger audience more than it did me. But for me "Pompeii" feels too comparable to other movies and in each case ends up weaker than those movies.