Pompeii

**1/2

Reviewed by: Angus Wolfe Murray

"The film is about death, whether in the arena, or out"

What is built on violence dies in violence.

At least you cannot spoil the ending. The gods blew up the world and everyone was mummified in lava. End of story.

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The scriptwriters have to decide how best to manipulate emotion before Arma and Geddon eradicate man's achievements - that's Roman achievements - with a gargantuan light show.

Take a fit young prisoner of war from one of the horse tribes in Caledonia and throw him into the arena to be sliced, diced and dealt with by the crowd's favourite gladiator, ebony skinned slave Atticus (Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje), who gains his freedom with one more kill.

The vengeance-fueled Brit, who's name is Milo (Kit Harington), captures and calms a terrified horse belonging to Cassia (Emily Browning, a pocket sized Angelina), daughter of a wealthy merchant (Jared Harris).

Love interest? Difficult, but where there's a will...

Earthquakes have already tested the special effects dept as the script slides effortlessly into the arms of Cliche, goddess of sweet nothings. Milo and Atticus become friends. A Roman Senator (Kiefer Sutherland), fresh from slaughtering barbarians in the north, including Milo's family, is in town to check out the games. He has a catch phrase - "Kill them all!"

The film is about death, whether in the arena, or out. Once the walls have collapsed, it's every slave for himself and every lover's hope to die together.

Where Pompeii wins favour, however, is in the look of cataclysm. The plot deserves to perish, but not the city, not the women and children, not the animals. Vesuvius' fury is absolute and the CGI artists have done it proud.

Is this the future of blockbusters? Global destruction in 3-D, up close and personal?

Reviewed on: 17 Apr 2014
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A volcanic rebuke of Rome's corrupt society? Or an effects driven disaster movie with a romantic sub plot and gladiatorial massacres?
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Director: Paul W S Anderson

Writer: Janet Scott Batchler, Lee Batchler, Michael Robert Johnson

Starring: Kit Harington, Emily Browning, Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje, Kiefer Sutherland, Jared Harris, Carrie-Anne Moss, Jessica Lucas, Joe Pingue

Year: 2014

Runtime: 105 minutes

BBFC: 12A - Adult Supervision

Country: Canada, Germany

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