"an effects heavy disaster flick about the legendary Mount Vesuvius"
The latest offering from Paul W.S. Anderson is Pompeii, an effects heavy disaster flick about the legendary Mount Vesuvius that decimated the once great city.
We are introduced to the young Milo, as his people are slaughtered by the Romans, led by General Corvus (Kiefer Sutherland), Milo plays dead and is piled up onto a heap of corpses - and then we fast forward, and Milo is now a young man (Kit Harington) and is a slave turned Gladiator earning a reputation and the name 'The Celt', who is unbeatable in the arena. He catches the eye of the gorgeous Cassia (Emily Browning) as he is transported with other slaves to entertain the masses in Pompeii.
Then disaster strikes, as cracks start appearing on the walls and structures of Pompeii, and at first, it is shrugged off as nothing, but when the grounds of Pompeii literally start to fall out from under the citizens, it becomes a mad dash for survival.
The fight sequences are spectacular, brutal and leaves little to the imagination. Similarly, the effects are epic, making the volcano a character all of its own and coupled with the amazing 3D, it elevates the somewhat hammy script to new heights.
The support cast are fantastic, however where the film falls flat is in the screentime given to the brilliant pairing of Carrie-Anne Moss and Jared Harris who portray Cassia's mother and father Aurelia and Severus, respectively.
Meanwhile, you can tell that Sutherland revelled in playing the villain, as he does it with so much charm and charisma that we have grown to expect from the talented actor.
Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje is great as Atticus, giving real depth and humility to the proud warrior, he and Harington's Milo grow to admire each other forming a brotherly bond that is just a joy to watch.
Kit Harington, who we have grown to admire for playing Jon Snow in Game of Thrones, shows that he can hold his own in a feature film, and his chemistry with Emily Browning is fantastic, these two really work well together, however, it would be nice to expand on their romantic narrative somewhat, as some of their scenes together feel a little rushed.
Paul W.S Anderson has successfully brought the story of Pompeii to the big screen, giving true heart and depth to proceedings, with the icing on the cake being that of Clint Shorter's dazzling score.