Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Pompeii [Germany, Canada, 2014]

Nine Things About the Movie Pompeii

1. The only thing that most people know about Pompeii is that it was an Italian city destroyed by a volcano and buried in ash a long time ago. So this movie makes up the rest of the story.

2. The plot of the movie is as generic as you can get. You can almost hear the filmmakers say, “Well, the event happened in gladiator times. And it’s about a bunch of people who can’t escape where they are and they all get killed. So let’s make ‘Gladiator’ meets ‘Titanic’. And even though it’s in Italy, let’s make everybody talk with a vague sort-of-British accent.”

3. And that’s exactly what they did. It’s your basic poor-boy/rich girl story. It’s about a boy named Milo that is captured in war, becomes a slave, and then is sent to Pompeii to fight as a gladiator. While there, he meets Cassia, the daughter of the city ruler. They fall in love. Her dad is upset. The usual.

4. Meanwhile, the volcano starts acting up. For some reason, it only happens at night, like the volcano was some serial killer, and people start disappearing.

5. Besides the love story, there is a half-baked political subplot. Since we all know how the movie ends, the story is not only silly, it’s pointless. There’s no reason to care much about the characters.

6. The last half-hour of the film is all about the destruction of the city. It’s pretty cool to watch, and the 3D effects are well done.

7. The director did take a lot of time to make the city itself historically accurate, basing it on studies of the actual ruins. Historians give the movie points for this.

8. Scientists who study volcanoes say that the depiction of the volcano is also historically accurate, except for when it rains fireballs.

9. This is a simple, old-fashioned disaster movie that offers nothing special in terms of story, but is fun to watch.