29. Pompeii (PG-13) - Runtime: 105 minutes
Starring: Kit Harington, Emily Brown, Kiefer Sutherland
Director: Paul W.S. Anderson
Writers: Janet Scott Batchler, Lee Batchler, Michael Robert Johnson
"I'm not expecting much else from this movie except for there to be some hot lava action" That was what I wrote when talking about this movie. It was listed as number 29, ahead of Godzilla! What was I thinking? Well, to be fair, this movie wasn't all that much and there really seemed very little to care about in this movie. I think I just need to come to terms with these historical, epic movies. I didn't like Gladiator or Troy or any other handful of sandal and sword drama/action flicks.
Pompeii plays out almost exactly like Titanic. Just without a crazy old lady with some million dollar jewel and Bill Paxton. Seriously - Kit Harington plays a Celtic slave Milo (I KNOW!) who, after wasting the first 15 minutes of the movie, finally gets sold down to Pompeii where we can finally see him fall in love with Emily Browning's character, Cassia, the daughter of the mayor of Pompeii (I know full well that's not his official title, but I'm too lazy to look up Roman political jargon). He woos her at first sight by snapping a horses neck (no joke! She practically fainted from her lady parts jolting her senses after that). But it's not to be! That dick Corvus (Kiefer Sutherland) comes from Rome to force his marriage to Cassia. All the while Milo gets beat up and beats people up.
If this sounds boring, well, it is. There's no real build up to the actual eruption and when it happens, it's so drawn out and dull. I mean, the goddamn volcano exploded and half the town is going nutballs, while the other half is just like, sweet, now I can take advantage of killing and looting this place. I'll be safe even though I've probably never witnessed something this horrific in my life.
But the movie never really accomplishes much - there's supposed to be a really strong bro-out between Milo and his slave-in-arms comrade, Atticus. In fact, he gets a fitting, epic death scene where he literally pumps his fist into the air and shouts "For those about to die, I salute you!" Didn't know the dude was an AC/DC fan.
And you would think after all this the actual city becoming ash and all the chaos it would make for some tense action, but it never really felt satisfying. A fairly disappointing movie that has a lot of bad acting (Kiefer Sutherland really hams it up here) and never any real good payoff, even at the end, Pompeii's worst crime is that it's just mediocre. This could have been fun and epic, but it's too slow and the characters are just so dull.
RATING: BURY THIS ONE IN ASH