Sunday, June 8, 2014


Judged as an action film Pompeii isn't awful, but there's nothing all that remarkable about it either. Judge as a Paul W.S. Anderson film it's actually better than expected. Gladiator-lite meets destruction porn in this tale of a Celtic warrior (Kit Harington) sold into slavery who makes his way to Pompeii on volcano day with just enough time to fall in love with a nobleman's daughter (Emily Browning) and exact revenge on the men (Kiefer Sutherland, Currie Graham) who led the raid that killed every member of his village.

Teasing us with tremors and small quakes, the first two-thirds of the film center nearly completely on Milo's gladiatorial life and Cassia's (Browning) relationship with her parents (Carrie-Anne Moss, Jared Harris) on her return home from Rome and a Roman Senator (Sutherland) who follows her. The action is competently done, as is the eventually eruption of Vesuvius, but the movie certainly struggles to make the more dramatic scenes effective.

Released on DVD, Blu-ray, and 3D Blu-ray, extras include audio commentary from Anderson and producer Jeremy Bolt, and short featurettes on the cast and the volcano. The Blu-ray also includes deleted scenes, and featurettes on production design, costumes, stunts, and the Pompeii disaster.

[Sony Pictures Home Entertainment, DVD $30.99, Blu-ray $35.99, 3D Blu-ray $45.99]

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