SYNOPSIS: 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.


Taking a leaf out of James Cameron’s Titanic and Ridley Scott’s Gladiator, Paul W.S. Anderson’s Pompeii sets against the backdrop of one of history’s biggest disaster is another testament why his works are often flamed and forgettable.

While we are easily invested in the romance between Jack and Rose or the sufferings of Maximus, you probably yawned at the romance of a gladiator, Milo (Kit Harington from Game of Thrones) and the daughter of Pompeii’s ruler, Lady Cassia (Emily Browning).

Obviously, narrative and storytelling is not one of Anderson’s strong traits. The only excitement happens only when Mount Vesuvius opens up and make a lot of noise. We shall give credit when it’s due, the fireballs, hot ash and large spewing smoke are indeed done spectacularly in CGI. But before all the mayhem, you got to suffer through one hour of clichéd dialogue, half-baked political nonsense and some PG13 friendly arena action courtesy of Milo and his fellow gladiator companion, Atticus (Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje).

And the year’s cheesiest acting award has to go to Kiefer Sutherland for his portrayal of the evil Senator Corvus who conveniently massacred the family of Milo (he managed to escape death by pretending to be dead) and lusting for the flesh of Lady Cassia to become the movie’s main antagonist. Kit Harington looking incredibly chiseled opposite an out-of-place Emily Browning hardly convinces audience their tragic bound destiny. 

Pompeii offers nothing new to the masses if you are familiar with Anderson’s past works such as The Three Musketeers and Alien Vs Predator in which visual is the most outstanding factor of all. This is merely another filler to his resume until the next Resident Evil comes along.    




Even with a 2.0 soundtrack, the sound effects are rich and loud. The DVD imaging transfer is detailed and superb. 



Review by Linus Tee



Genre: Action/Adventure
Starring: Kit Harington, Emily Browning, Carrie-Anne Moss, Jared Harris, Kiefer Sutherland, Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje, Joe Pingue, Currie Graham, Sasha Roiz
Director: Paul W.S. Anderson
Rating: PG13 (Some Violence)
Year Made: 2014




Languages: English
Subtitles: English/Chinese
Aspect Ratio: 2.40:1 
Sound: Dolby Digital 2.0
Running Time:  1 hr 45 mins
Region Code: 3
Distributor: Scorpio East Entertainment