Whether you have a good time with Pompeii depends entirely on what you demand from it. This historical disaster epic is loaded with CGI destructo-porn and thrilling action sequences, but falls almost unbelievably short in the heart department. For many audience members, that will be perfectly acceptable.
Anderson wasn’t aiming to make a profound, historically accurate meditation on the titular Roman city. Rather, his intentions for Pompeii should be obvious from the poster alone, which depicts gladiator Milo (Kit Harington) romancing noblewoman Cassia (Emily Browning) as Mount Vesuvius lays waste to everything around them. The idea of a film combining Titanic‘s doomed romance and Gladiator‘s furious action is what sold this film to the studios and then to audiences back in February. Still, what a shame, then, that Pompeii can’t even begin to hold a candle to either of those inspirations.
That’s not to say that it’s all bad. »
- Isaac Feldberg
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