Pompeii (2014) Poster

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It all depends on your attitude
kluseba6 March 2014
You can take this movie from two different sides.

As somebody who is very much interested in history and geography and has studied both for many years, this movie is obviously full of mistakes and wrong stereotypes. It is almost as inaccurate as the "Spartacus" series. And this is never an original movie. We have all watched movies with very similar story lines about the evil Romans who want to control everything, the poor gladiators who stand up against them and the forbidden love between a rich young woman and a foreign slave. I can understand why many people are rating this film down. If you really want to watch a sophisticated movie about that time, go for the classic "Ben- Hur".

What I think is strange is that all these stereotypes were highly predictable from the trailers only. I am asking myself why people even went to watch this movie if they were going to hate it for the reasons mentioned above. Some people just want to bash a movie and seem to have a very sad life if they waste their time watching movie they dislike so much.

I went to watch the movie for something different. I wanted to watch a colourful movie with impressive sets and costumes and stunning 3D effects of an exploding volcano. I was eager to watch a fast pace flick with a lot of fighting scenes, some tension here and there and maybe a few love scenes with beautiful actresses. And I exactly got that.

In addition to this, the acting was just good enough and included a few interesting characters. I really liked Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje and Jessica Lucas in this film even though they played stereotypical characters and could have had more screening time. If you are going to watch this movie for Carrie-Anne Moss or Kiefer Sutherland, please do not. They have been much better in other movies in the past.

In the end, it all depends on you. If you want to watch an original and profound movie and learn something about the Roman Empire, just forget it. If you want to watch a effect ridden action adventure, you are going to like this. It is not the movie of the year but I surely had a great time watching it.
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3D first, Movie second
imwalt26 February 2014
The movie Pompeii was obviously thought-up and directed around the 3D effects. The plot, acting, and script must have all been after-thoughts to the 3D fireballs shooting off the screen, 3D ashes floating in front of your eyes, and the 3D objects being hurled around by tidal waves.

It was watchable, but don't be expecting a fabulous plot that you haven't seen dozens of times in other better movies. The bad writing had most of the actors come off sounding like lifeless wooden statues that would say and do very unbelievable things just to keep the story going. Everything was very predictable. So predictable, in fact, there were a couple of moments I could have sworn I did see it before!

This was a good example why I typically do no like 3D movies. Having some good 3D effects is not a valid excuse for making a bad movie!! This definitely could have been much better!
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Horrible movie, full of clichés.
mbabaev19 February 2014
This was a complete waste fo time. Here are the main reasons:

1. The performance by the main characters was very poor and artificial. 2. The director did a bad job, as did the editor. 3. The main story is weak and uninspired. There are clichés all over the place. Dialogue is poor and boring. The whole story is completely dubious and it is hard to take the movie seriously. 4. Historically speaking, the film sacrifices the real events that occurred for the sake of extra special effects. The fact that two cities were destroyed before anything got to Pompeii is ignored completely. The 'fire rain' on Pompeii also never happened, as did the tsunami. It simply made no sense to add everything but the kitchen sink into this movie. 'The Gladiator' was fictional, but it never claimed to be anything else. This film claims to be based on real events, when it clearly isn't in the most important aspects of what happened that day. In Pompeii, people died because they inhaled the smoke, not because fire rained down on them or tsunamis washed them away. The arena (stadium) was never destroyed by the earhquake and it still stands in Pompeii to this day. Dubious to the extreme.

Overall very very poor.
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Hot pecs, hot rocks, and a horse whisperer
Kingkitsch14 August 2014
Warning: Spoilers
How to waste a 100 million dollar budget:

1. Ignore history completely because you're sure your audience is stupid and won't notice. 2. Make sure all the gladiators look like steroid refugees from a West Hollywood gym. Amp up the homo-eroticism with lots of oiled pectorals and a weird "bromance" between not only two gladiators but the evil Roman senator and his faithful-unto-death boyfriend / bodyguard. 3. Create a paper-thin romance between a slave and a noble lady that's laughably unconvincing because they have about twenty lines of dialog between them. 4. Give the slave killer abs and the ability to whisper sweet nothings to horses so that they'll calm down while a volcano explodes. 5. Include every freaking cliché from every disaster movie ever made. Make sure the noble black slave runs back to save that child who fell down and is being trampled. 7. Throw giant hot rocks at the audience via 3D. 8. Include a tidal wave! 9. Make the audience wonder where all the Pompeiians went during the last twenty minutes of the movie. Suddenly they all vanish. 10. Give Kiefer Sutherland lots of close-ups of his false teeth. 11. Burn up everyone as prettily as possible. 12. Run away from lawsuits and copyright infringement because your screenwriters ripped off "Gladiator" and "Titanic".

Luckily, Vesuvius only destroyed Pompeii once, so there can't be a sequel...but don't count on it. Hollywood is probably doing post-production on "Return to Pompeii" right now.
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Waste of time
g_caletti1 March 2014
What a piece of crap wannabe blockbuster . If it was not by the fact I got free tickets for the premiere, I would be p***ed off to waste my money in vain. Well, my time was wasted anyway...

The plot is the epitome of stupidity: shallow characters and a predictable story made me wonder what the director was thinking. The history of Pompeii and its fate was completely ignored (I have visited Pompeii myself) - the tsunami scene was only one of the non sense historical goofs. The movie end is absolutely stupid and I was relieved it finally ended.

If you want to waste your time, this is the perfect opportunity.
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Awful, awful movie
hywel-919 February 2014
Warning: Spoilers
Princess Bride, but played straight, with no self-awareness or humour. "My name is Milo. You killed my father. Prepare to die!".

Avoid. The fight scenes are entertaining, but so prolonged that one is taken out of the movie to think "Yeah, but there's no way he'd be able to *keep* fighting for this long".

The whole audience (in Paris) laughed at the final utterly ridiculous frames. This was meant to be poignant/heartbreaking - like Titanic. The audience by then just wanted it to be over.

There are a few wooden performances, but I suspect it's hard not to be with this script and direction. Even so, Sutherland should be ashamed of his showing in this. He must just have been counting his pay the whole time.

Also: 'Milo' the Celt ?? How about using Celtic name?
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Outside of some effects - just bad.
westsideschl2 June 2014
Dialogue & acting - repackaged as old English (18th century) by Hollywood for it's lyrical movieness (and to fit Hollywood stereotyping). Acting was daytime soap TV level.

Characters - noncreative, plug and play characters e.g. gladiators (one black & soon to become friends with adversary - been done before); other gladiator sees parents die at Roman hands and is now old enough for revenge - also been done before; really bad Romans acting badly; aristocratic pretty daughter (still has 21st century make up, eye liner, etc.) falls for slave gladiator (of course).

Action scenes - good gladiators defeat dozens of Romans as brunch (I was waiting for one hand tied behind the back and blindfolded but the writers copped out).

CGI - flashes of CGI volcano every 5 to 10 minutes to remind us of what the movie is about. Familiar scenes of water rushing over the city - already used in many tsunami movies and is getting old. Looked like the same wave used in several Indian Ocean tsunami films recently, but not as well done as say in "The Impossible". Fireballs came off as comical fireworks effects.
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What drivel
k-thomas20 April 2014
Warning: Spoilers
This is one of the worst films i have ever seen. A rehash of Conan and Gladiator. Good guy Celts are slaughtered by bad guy Romans led by Bad Actor Kiefer Sutherland. A little boy is the lone survivor. Taken to Londonium [ London ] and trained to become a Gladiator. Conan. He is so good, he is sent to Pompeii to fight in the arena. On the way he comes across a damsel in distress and helps her with her wounded horse. Love at first sight. A Roman legion arrives led by guess who? yes bad guy Kiefer Sutherland. Good guy Gladiator wants revenge. Bad guy Kiefer Sutherland has his eye on the damsel in distress, who happens to be the daughter of the headman of Pompeii, but she is in love with good guy Gladiator. Gladiators in Pompeii were the celebrities of the period. Not held in dungeons like in this movie. Also the citizens of Pompeii were Romans themselves,also unlike in this movie. I won't continue with the rest of the story, as i think you should see for yourselves. The acting was terrible, especially by Sutherland. He started with an American accent and then later an English accent. The bad guy characters were like something from an English school Pantomime. As for the disaster itself. Even with the 3d effects, it was not edge of the seat stuff. Unlike Titanic. The story in Titanic was a romance around a disaster, but without the 3d effects, you were glued to the screen. All you see as soon as the eruption comes burning rocks raining down, nothing else. Also it shows people panicking straight away, which is nonsense, because as i was told by the guide, when i visited Pompei, the populace had no idea of what was happening and just stood and watched until the lava started to flow down and even then, they tried to save their belongings. That is why so many perished and also why Versuvius was mistaken for a mountain and there is no word for Vulcanoe in Latin. Also once the smoke connected to to the sky, light pebbles rained down on the city. So for a while, they thought there was no danger. Hollywood has gone downhill in the last 20 years. They blame DVDs for people not going to the cinema, so they make more films in 3d.The standard of acting has gone downhill. There are no stories to their films any more, so they put all these effects in to compensate for this. If you want to see a good DVD about Pompei buy the DVD BBC documentary drama with Tim Piggot Smith called Pompeii The Last Day. On with it is the story about the Colosseum, called Colosseum A Gladiators Story.If you want to see a good fictional story centering around the disaster, get the TV Miniseries The Last Days Of Pompeii starring Lawrence Olivier, Anthony Quayle, Ernest Borgnine, Barbera Carrera and a host of others. I hope i have not bored you with this review, but i don't like to waste money and i am sure you don't.
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Not the disaster you may have heard the movie to be, this uneven mix of a disaster movie and a 'Gladiator' action-romance is great on the former and terrible on the latter
moviexclusive20 February 2014
Warning: Spoilers
Paul W.S. Anderson has never been a director of story or character; instead, as he had demonstrated with five chapters of the 'Resident Evil' franchise, it's all about giving his audience the most bang for their buck with pure action spectacle. And just as he did with zombies previously, Anderson spares nothing in recreating the destruction of the ancient Italian city laid to waste by the eruption of Mount Vesuvius in A.D. 72, so rest assured that it does deliver genuine spectacle as it promises.

The only catch? The volcano only erupts an hour into the movie, which also means that Anderson has to grapple with his twin Achilles' heels of story and character for that same duration. We won't kid you - the wait till fire and ash rains down from the legendary mountain is quite literally a slog. The fault isn't entirely Anderson's; though the leaden direction is to blame for the cliché-ridden melodrama, it is the screenwriters Michael Robert Johnson (Sherlock Holmes), Janet Scott Batchler and Lee Batchler (Batman Forever) who are responsible for the utterly pedestrian script and some truly cringe-worthy dialogue.

What they have done essentially is to take a gladiator drama and throw in a 'rich girl/ poor boy' romance in the vein of 'Titanic' as a pretext for the inevitable eruption, with the former relatively more fleshed out than the latter. To set the stage, we see a young Celtic boy watching his parents being murdered by the ruthless Corvus (Kiefer Sutherland) and his top soldier Proculus (Sasha Roiz), both Roman guards whom you know the same older boy will come face to face with later on. Fast forward to seventeen years later and the boy named Milo has developed into a strapping gladiator known as 'The Celt', picked out amidst a grubby Londinium arena for the big league in Pompeii.

Milo's meet-cute with his romantic interest Cassia (Emily Browning) happens en route to Pompeii, when the latter's carriage becomes stuck in the mud and causes one of her horses to suffer a severe fall. In an act of kindness, Milo kills the horse with his bare hands to put him out of its misery, and immediately earns Cassia's fondness. Back in Pompeii, Cassia's father Severus (Jared Harris) and mother (Carrie Anne-Moss) play host to Corvus and his Roman entourage, whose favour they depend on to fund their plan to revitalise the city by building aqueducts. Turns out however that Corvus is only doing so to force Cassia's hand in marriage, whom he unsuccessfully courted while the latter was still back in Rome.

In the meantime, Milo forges an acquaintance with Atticus (Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje), one of the fiercest fighters who is according to the law just one fight away from earning his freedom. Needless to say, Atticus soon finds that his masters have no intention of honouring the law, and instead of being opponents, Milo and Atticus team up to rebel against their captors. All this culminates in a nicely shot showdown in the town's coliseum, where Milo and Atticus take on an entire Roman battalion in order to simulate Corvus' invasion of the Celtic homeland.

From that time on, Anderson's best instincts as a filmmaker take over, injecting the moribund proceedings with a much-needed shot of life that immediately jolts his viewer out of his seat. The sight of Vesuvius starting to boil over is a truly humbling one, even more so when it starts to rain fire, rock and lava down on the hapless citizens of Pompeii, not excluding our protagonists. Anderson skilfully cuts between wide shots offering birds-eye views of the scale of the devastation and close-ups of the disaster from the point of view of its victims, and it is to his credit - as well as that of his cinematographer Glen MacPherson and VFX supervisor Dennis Berardi - that we are simply and surely transfixed.

Lest you think it's all about the volcano, well the calamity turns out to be much more multi-faceted. Besides watching out for fire and rock from above, those looking for a way out of Pompeii are also either swallowed into the ground as the earth underneath them collapses or are swept away by an enormous tsunami precipitated by the tectonic forces causing the same eruption. As if that weren't enough, our star-crossed lovers also have to contend with Corvus' relentless pursuit, while Atticus proves a more than worthy ally against Proculus. Anderson channels his best inner Roland Emmerich to ensure that his disaster movie never has a boring moment once nature's tragedy strikes, and let's just say the last 45 mins is tense and exciting stuff.

Even so, Anderson threatens to be undone by a perennially weak link in his movie, and that is the quality of the acting. 'Game of Thrones' star Kit Harrington is no less wooden than he was in the HBO miniseries, and there is almost zero chemistry between him and 'Sucker Punch' actress Emily Browning. Though '24' star Kiefer Sutherland looks out of place in a sword and scandal epic like this, he proves more entertaining than our leads in a borderline campy manner. The best of the lot is without a doubt Adewale, who brings unexpected dignity and gravitas to his role in a movie that generally demands much less from its performers.

But really, one should not expect differently from 'Pompeii', which as we said at the beginning is no more than an opportunity for Anderson to leverage on historical events to deliver an action-filled disaster movie packed with visual spectacle. As long as you can get past that first hour, the prolonged cataclysmic climax will grip, astound and awe you - and since this is meant to be a disaster movie first and an action- romance second, the priorities are just right.
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Enjoyable Eye Candy
didonatope20 February 2014
Warning: Spoilers
It's pretty much impossible to say that "Pompeii" is a flawless film. It's love story is clichéd and and its lighting at times leaves much to be desired. On the other hand, I believe the term "guilty pleasure" fits perfectly here, as I certainly enjoyed this movie enough to recommend it.

"Pompeii" tells the story of the legendary natural disaster that covered the Italian city of Pompeii and its residents in ashes, preserving their bodies for eternity. Like "Titanic," "Pompeii" mixes in a star-crossed lovers story into the disaster genre. Following the rich- girl-loves-poor-boy trope, a wealthy woman named Cassia (played by Emily Browning of "Sucker Punch") falls in love with an enslaved gladiator named Milo (played by Kit Harrington of "Game of Thrones"). When Pompeii's volcano erupts, it is up to Milo to save Cassia from being left to die in the eruption (there is more to the story but I don't want to give anything away).

Admittedly, the love story is by far less convincing than the one in Titanic. The two leads Cassia and Milo spend a bare minimum of time getting to know each other and their relationship lacks development. However, in a disaster movie that focuses more on providing audience- pleasing thrills, this is much less of a problem than it could have been.

On the contrary, Milo's relationship with a fellow slave named Atticus (played by Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje of "Thor: The Dark World") is surprisingly well developed throughout the film. In the first act, Milo learns that he must face Atticus, a man who has been promised freedom after one more battle. Several scenes of dialogue in a prison cell and action in the arena they are forced to fight in give the audience a good feel for who these characters are and give a good enough reason to root for them. Considering that this is a disaster movie made by Paul W.S. Anderson, both characters have a substantial amount of substance to them, and the actors give good enough performances to make their friendship believable.

On the subject of Mr. Anderson, I have never really been a fan of his work. "The Three Musketeers" was mediocre at best and his "Resident Evil" movies are absolutely dreadful. Here he seems to have improved his ability to tell a story, though there are a few flaws here and there that carry over from his other works. Much like "Alien vs. Predator," Anderson struggles to properly light a few nighttime scenes, casting what could have been a great looking shot into 50% blackness. In addition, his editing can occasionally be choppy, but compared to something like "I, Frankenstein," it's nowhere near as jarring.

To his credit, which I believe is often overlooked, Mr. Anderson certainly knows how to stage and take advantage of an action setpiece. One scene involving gladiators fighting soldiers chained to a spiked pillar made full use of its environment, and will likely have audiences entertained. Something else worth nothing are the special effects; they are very well done and it is clear that the VFX team put a lot of effort into bringing the legendary eruption of Mt. Vesuvias to the big screen. What's even better is the 3D; lately 3D has been sorely mediocre in Hollywood films, but in this case it is very effective. From volcanic ashes to falling beams of wood, "Pompeii" succeeds in taking full advantage of the 3D technology with stunning results.

The last act of the film is among one of the most thrilling disaster scenes I have ever scene in recent years. Fans of disaster movies will likely be pleased by all of the mindless carnage and destruction, and like "2012," the visual grandeur is seat-grippingly epic.

"Pompeii" is nowhere near a high-quality film, nor is it free from typical Hollywood clichés. However, this was not a film that left me feeling insulted or just jaded. Rather, this was actually a memorable disaster/action period piece that I could easily recommend taking some friends to see. The experience alone is pretty damn cool.
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Waste of time
vladp623 February 2014
Warning: Spoilers
This is my first review at IMDb, and I cannot withstand from warning the people reading the reviews: this movie is very bad. If I could give a zero, I'd do that. I've read so many reviews that really helped me a lot to choose the movie I'd like to watch. Pompeii (2014) is one of a few movies I didn't inspect properly before watching. And that was a big mistake. This movie has no sense, no story, actions are amateurish, emotions are artificial, dialogues are brainless. We laughed a lot during the movie on how stupid many scenes and dialogues could be. Paul Anderson should really retire. I read his books and I liked them, but as a movie director, I'm sorry it's probably not for him. After two hours watching this movie and after the last sequence of scenes, I really wonder what all that was about? Even if considering a love genre, this movie doesn't belong to it either. Love between the main characters was very funny and superficial. Please, don't waste your time on this movie. It's completely worthless.

P.S. By the way, the volcano eruption was so funny. Most of the time it shoot fire bombs instead of producing lava. And the shoots were really bully. I think Paul Anderson took this from Starship Troopers where the huge alien insects shoot the similar bombs in space.
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Cheesy. Okay. *Just* Okay.
Danusha_Goska23 February 2014
"Pompeii" is cheesy and okay. Just okay. The special effects are good enough, and the cast is very good, so it could have been a much better film than it is. Ooooh well.

Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje stood out for me as Atticus a noble, undefeated gladiator. I couldn't help but think that this guy should be a bigger star, and that perhaps his difficult name stood in his way. Kit Harington is charismatic and believable as Milo, a sensitive, horse- loving Celt who is forced to fight as a gladiator. He charms Cassia, a rich Roman girl (Emily Browning) and their love is believable. Kiefer Sutherland is an evil Roman Senator. Sutherland camps it up, doing a Boris Karloff imitation throughout the film. Not sure why he picked Karloff; perhaps just to see if anyone would notice. Sasha Roiz, who is from Israel, has a face, head and hair right off of a Roman mosaic, and he's good as yet another sadistic Roman officer, Sutherland's right-hand man.

This movie is obviously thrown together with little thought or heart, and it's a shame that more was not done with it. There's a scene where Milo and Cassia escape on horseback. That scene could have been classic – you've got a handsome slave who faces nothing but death in the arena, a beautiful maiden being menaced by a predatory Roman senator, and a nighttime escape on a gorgeous white horse: so much to work with! Instead their escape is just plopped on screen with no artistry at all. You're watching a rehearsal, not a real movie.

Special effects include aerial views of ancient Pompeii, earthquakes, cracking villas, sinkholes, volcanic eruption, and a tsunami. These are all okay, but I bet you could see equally good footage, if not better, on televised nature documentaries. There is lots of gladiatorial combat. I'm not qualified to judge these scenes. I usually squint my eyes and grimace throughout them and I have no idea how accurate they are. Somehow the consistency with which Milo and Atticus are able to defeat many more, and better armored opponents didn't convince me.

While watching this movie I couldn't help but reflect on Cecil-B- Demille-style sword and sandal movies from the fifties and early sixties. Those movies had special effects, but they also focused on gripping storytelling, larger than life stars like Charlton Heston, Yul Brynner, and Richard Burton, and they had some larger point. Even without the CGI, those movies were often more satisfying than more recent films who sink everything in special effects and ignore more old fashioned storytelling craft.
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bad effort
Royalcourtier28 March 2014
Warning: Spoilers
Canada should really stop making movies. This was a shockingly poor affair. A big budget and some good actors does not make up for a feeble script, confused and muddled plot, limited characterisation, totally inaccurate history for a historical film, and a surfeit of political correctness.

Like most Hollywood epics, the Roman Empire's heart seems to be in Britain. And that was where this film commenced. But it was nothing like the real Britannia. A clichéd damp English weather, and assorted rebelling "horse tribes". A pointless massacre of said rebels, and a boy left inexplicably alive. This was apparently a major military campaign to "open the Northern trade routes". Sounds more like a amateur attempt to paint Romans as evil from the outset, and set up a revenge sub-plot. A child could come up with a better plot.

The mysterious "Celt", having survived against the odds becomes not a horseman like his father, but a gladiator. Having overcome all competitors in Britain, he is sent not to Rome but to Pompeii.

This Pompeii is nothing like the real city. Its residents do not regard themselves as Roman. Odd that, as Pompeii was part of the Empire, its citizens were Roman citizens, and the city was a Roman resort. Rather like the citizens of Bournemouth hating Londoners and not regarding themselves as British.

Pompeii is dominated by a huge active volcano, which disturbs the locals from time to time. The real volcano looks only half the size (I have been in Pompeii) and it was not known to be active until the eruption itself.

I know modern audiences like gladiators, almost as much as Romans did. But what is entirely omitted from the movie is that gladiators were part of a religious rite, and that the fighting was both drama and intended to honour the Gods. Real gladiatorial combat did not always result in death. In fact gladiators were too valuable to kill swiftly. Most combat during the course of the day was not lethal. This movie represents gladiatorial combat as simply a form of mass murder, as brutal and swift as possible. Dozens killed in minutes. Even during the most costly games in Rome itself gladiators were not "used up" so swiftly.

The eruption of Pompeii looked impressive, but was completely wrong. The real mountain released clouds of pyroclastic material that suffocated and buried thousands, and collapsed buildings. Rather like a build up of snow on buildings. Most residents escaped. In this version there was a preternaturally hot pyroclastic flow, incendiary missiles, tsunami and other mayhem. No one survived, and in fact nothing of the city would have survived.

Culturally the movie got it wrong too. Apart from the erroneous view of the city of Pompeii, the role of slaves was misrepresented. In this version of history they were either "animals" and treated as such, or friends and companions whose status was only shown by the use of "master" from time to time. No sign of manacles or of slaves being whipped, no sign of social classes at all.

The young girl Cassia was for some unexplained reason sent to Rome to grow up, accompanied only by a slave. No chaperone, and no reason why a young girl would be parted from her parents. She returns only to avoid the snares of an evil senator. Convenient plot device, but highly improbable.

The emperor Titus is implied to be a degenerate despot, uninterested in the cities of Italia, much less the Empire. The real Titus was a soldier, and a popular and good emperor.

Many people do not believe that historical accuracy matters in a historical film. To a degree they are right. However history should not be changed unless it fulfills a purpose in the movie. The departures from historical accuracy in this film just make it confused, illogical and a bad film.
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sildarmillion26 February 2014
I got dragged to see this. I knew it was going to suck. It sucked in a "it's so bad it's good" kind of way. I was never bored. Mostly laughing and saying, "You know nothing John Snow."

But you know a movie is bad when it ends with a scene that is supposed to be emotional and tragic, and the whole theater bursts out laughing.

I feel like there's no point in me going over how poorly written the characters were, because I'm sure everyone else has already done that. The romance was extremely random. It's like they didn't even care about the story.

To be fair, the visual effects were great, but really, today there are so many movies with great visuals, this one does nothing new. Although it turns out that the filmmakers did their research for this film and the set designs and the eruption were very true to fact (except for the lava bombs and the tsunami) and even the ash-figures we see at the end were based on (stress on based on) actual figures that were discovered. So that raises the film a bit in my respect.


Atticus: Which bastard will be the one I kill today? Me: Ned Stark's bastard.

Sorry. :P
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Romance and Tragedy
claudio_carvalho29 June 2014
In 79 A.D., a Celtic tribe of horsemen is slaughtered by the Roman Senator Corvus (Kiefer Sutherland), his right-hand man Proculus (Sasha Roiz) and their army. The boy Milo is the only survivor that is captured later and sold as slave. Seventeen years later, the slave Milo (Kit Harington) turns into an invincible gladiator in a province and is brought to Pompeii to participate in the games in the arena. While walking to Pompeii, the noble Cassia (Emily Browning) and her chaperone Ariadne (Jessica Lucas) cross with the path of the slaves and Cassia is fascinated by Milo. He shares the cell of Atticus (Adewale Akinnuoye- Agbaje), who is near to get his freedom depending on winning his last fight. Meanwhile Cassia meets her parents Severus (Jared Harris) and Aurelia (Carrie-Anne Moss) and learns that she has been betrothed to the corrupt Senator Corvus that is pressing her parents to marry her. During the games, the Mount Vesuvius erupts and Milos and his friend Atticus succeed to escape from the arena. But Milo wants to save his beloved Cassia in the middle of the chaos and the Romans.

"Pompeii" is a full of action and dull romance in the tragic environment of the last days of Pompeii. Disaster movies were popular in the 70's ("Airport", "The Towering Inferno", and "Earthquake" among others) and Paul W.S. Anderson returns to the genre after "Titanic". The entertaining story is silly with poor lines and dialogs, but never boring. Kit Harington, the "Jon Snow" from "Games of Thrones", makes it worth to see at least on DVD. My vote is six.

Title (Brazil): "Pompeia" ("Pompeii")
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Absurd and Ostentatious
pc957 September 2014
Warning: Spoilers
The captions on the poster on Pompeii, reads "No Warning, No Escape" - a fair warning for audiences entering this mega-turd. A shiny Hollywood steamer, "Pompeii" is comically absurd. It is amongst the turkeys of movies for 2014. Director Paul W.S. Anderson is certainly more focused on look than substance, and the direction is egregiously poor - which follows in kind with poor acting. It is a shameless money-grab hardly worth the free library check-out. The storyline and look steals a good deal from the markedly better "Gladiator"; the other side of the story is a big, dumb D- quality effects disaster flick with the Mt Vesuvius volcano. The fact that characters are ignoring the pending doom is chief among it's inadequacies. Logic is thrown away in favor gloss. The music only added to the aburdity, blaring and grand amplifying the ridiculousness. I had heard from a co- worker that it was bad, and it was completely that. Not Recommended.
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Minor flaws throughout, but otherwise a solid thrill...
edwardanthony920 February 2014
I would want to say that this film feels different, yet somehow it felt familiar. The film felt different thanks to the climactic volcanic eruption, which added an extra dimension to the final act, yet in every other minor plot detail, it felt as if I've seen the act many times before. Overall, though, it is a joy to watch, despite the minor flaws throughout the film. One strong point in which I enjoy the film were the action sequences, which mostly are very practical sword fights, that turns out to be quite fun and enjoyable with the fast & swift hits. And then throughout the end, the suspense of the danger can be felt, which I attribute mostly to the decent soundtrack. Soundtracks which are supportive towards the appropriate situation is always a great thing to have. And while the visual effects were not perfect, it didn't really matter in terms of the overall experience. Yet the film is dragged down by minor flaws along the way. There was no humour in the mix, and while there is no deep emotional drama as well, at least I can still feel for the character. There are times where I felt that the scenes were not supposed to happen yet, although in the end, I could at least care about what's going to happen to these characters. And the closing scenes were too abrupt, where they could instead have added some finishing lines/quotes or maybe give some aftermath/future scenes. These minor details kind of let down what would otherwise be a solid thrilling disaster film. VERDICT: Good: Great action sequences, Decent soundtrack & suspense Bad: No humour, Lack of emotional touches, Abrupt ending, (Minor flaws) SCORE: 7.0
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An Actually Good Disaster Movie That's Not A Disaster
alanclarke71420 February 2014
Pompeii is directed by Paul W.S. Anderson, and centers around the character of Milo, who is a man that stands against the Roman empire after he is put into slavery and becomes a gladiator in Pompeii. He befriends a fellow gladiator and slave Atticus, who helps him fight back against Rome and also ventures to save Cassia, who is to be married to Senator Corvis, a corrupt official.

The movie is actually not as bad as i thought it was going to be. Sure, it is still not an award-winning masterpiece like Gladiator, but for a CG-filled action-fest about Pompeii, it actually worked well. The visual effects were very good (the effects that were made for 3D weren't as much), the musical score by Clinton Shorter was great (echoing the greatness of Gladiator, Kingdom of Heaven and even Game of Thrones), and Anderson's directing, i personally would say is his best here. Now, the acting, i have mixed feelings for. Emily Browning was good as Cassia (nothing amazing), Kiefer Sutherland was great as an antagonist, and Kit Harrington was (sadly) not as good as he is in Game of Thrones, but still good. The show-stealer is Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje as Atticus, who is very similar to that of Djimon Hounsou in Gladiator, and for me, his performance brought tears.

Pompeii is not a classic in any sort of way, but is one i would definitely see again and own when it's released on disc. I never would have thought this movie would be actually good, but i hope they have an extended cut for a disc release because they could have made the movie longer.
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lunchboxwanderer14 April 2014
Warning: Spoilers
at how incredibly awful 'Pompeii' was. Sheesh, it was such a cheap rip Ripoff of 'Gladiator.' It seems as if Hollywood assumes the 14 to 24 year old kids have never heard of or seen 'Gladiator.' So they do a cheap "Cliff Notes" version of it.

But in the new extremely dumbed down version, they start with the scene in Morocco where Russell Crowe kicks butt in the arena.

Then they introduce the "high class" girl that falls in love with the cute slave guy.

Then they veer off into the teen soap opera BS.

Good God Man!!!! The hero and the African gladiator start off as enemies. But what do you know? After the little cute guy Orlando Bloom look a like that is 5 foot 4 earns his respect, they become best friends. Who could have predicted that? It's a cotton candy film with bad CGI. Pathetic really.

If they had wanted to make a good film, they'd of had the volcano erupt at the beginning and made it 'Pompeii, Zombie Apocalypse.' I would have watched that until the end, unlike this piece of trash.

Oh, my cat that was sitting next to me told me.
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feudalserfer12 November 2014
Well, I thought Noah was the worst film I'd seen this year, but Pompeii beats it by some distance. Well a few cubits, perhaps. Poorly scripted, poorly acted, nice visuals, gratuitous violence, a rather loose grasp of classical history.

Kiefer Sutherland proving what I'd always thought, that he's a really lousy actor ..... I was glad to see the place devoured by pyroclastic flows.

That's not a spoiler, by the way, not unless you're unfamiliar with the actual place rather than the CGI splendours depicted in the movie.

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A Disaster Movie ...
kaaber-214 October 2014
Why waste money on 3D when the characters and the story are 1D? What annoys me the most is that all those ravishing effects (and I didn't even see it in 3D) were spent on nothing. Pompeji and its destruction is such a great backdrop for drama, but here it was all sacrificed for a string of predictable clichés. While being excruciatingly bored during "Pompeji," my mind wandered back to "San Francisco" from 1936 with Jeanette MacDonald, Clark Gable and Spencer Tracy. By the time the earthquake struck near the end of that old film, I was so engrossed in the plot and the characters that I had almost forgotten about the disaster and didn't mind at all that it looked very much like what it was: a lot of papier-mâché. In "Pompeji," the plot and the characters were so tiresome that I was looking forward to Vesuvius putting an end to my sufferings. Notwithstanding the spectacular special effects, "Pompeji" is indeed a disaster movie but in the wrong sense of the word. The silliest stuff that ever I saw.
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Big disappointment
aclair-18 November 2014
I expected more serious film. It is just full with modern digital effects, far from the truth what really happened in Pompeii. The millions funded the creation of this trash were wasted. The purpose of the film was to show artificial digital effects, not so successful, and cruelty because this is the way to make money in our time. Cruel, mediocre, cliché' fairy-tale. By the way – there were no black slaves in Pompeii. The director blindly followed the rule in Hollywood to put one black person in the main character at any cost, ignoring the content of the story. It is really pity to waste money for such a tasteless, incompetently created film.
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Crap Movie
aobrien3016 July 2014
If you are about to watch this movie just save your time and watch something else, the director of this movie should be disappointed on how it turned out, the ending was pure crap, I give this movie a 2 rating and I was struggling with even that, I thought it would be better, wish I would have spent my money on something else and one more thing!! You seriously had to go with that actor for Corvus! Thousands of better actors to play the part!! That said actor did a very poor job at playing that part and don't get me wrong he has done some awesome movies! Very disappointed!! Buy another movie or rent something else worth your time my friends!
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Why DID I like this film?
davidagnino24 April 2014
Many people are out there saying it's "historically inaccurate", it's "a remade of gladiator WITH A VOLCANO!" and a very cliché film. but I'm saying it is a really good movie on it's own, considering that this IS A DISASTER MOVIE. And in many aspects this is better than 2012, Volcano, or other movies like these. For starters, there is an actual plot to the movie before the volcano erupts.

Other things I liked:

  • The gladiatorial theme is well presented. You can see people who hate being a gladiator, people who are just waiting for their freedom, people who believe they are gods in the arena, and so on, and you can watch how the majority of Romans loved these shows, but some didn't. You can make yourself an idea of the weather of that theme.

  • The romance is believable. I mean, it happens very fast, but it's not Disney's "Real Love" They are just two people who LIKE each other caught in the massive chaos of a volcano, not much more.

  • the special effects are plain awesome! Not only the gigantic explosion and lava bombs, and tsunamis. Also the small things, like the views of the city in the background, and the aerial shots.

  • The city was amazing. People complain "Pompeii is not a port city" Well, actually it WAS, but the eruption changed the shape of the coastline. And the fact that THAT city shown in the movie WAS Pompeii. They actually shoot in place and then recreated the city out of the remainings using CGI. So the grid shape, the walls and everything is in place just as it was 2000 years ago. Archaeologists have in fact praised the director for his recreation of the city

  • the volcano. It's the star of the movie without a doubt. It seems to have almost a personality. The way the eruption happened was very close to what actually happened. Some artistic liberties were made for the sake of entertaining. You won't be seeing any clichéd lava river because Mount Vesubius doesn't work that way.

  • The ending. It was amazing. I can't spoil it for you, but making it in any other way would have damaged the quality of the film.

  • The acting. It was really good for what I was expecting. Milo surprised me a lot, because I could really believe him as a lead man. The girl also. She seemed so plain in photos, but once the movie started I could say she nailed the part perfectly and was by no means just "miss fanservice", as girls in these kinds of movies tend to be. The real surprise was Atticus. The actor totally stealed the movie for himself in every scene, something that was perfect for an invicted champion in the peak of his gladiatorial career.

What didn't I like? The fact that the other famous city in the vicinity of Vesubius(Herculaeum, I think it's called) wasn't showed in the aerial shots. I mean, obviously the movie would be to complicated if we include it in the plot, but an aerial cameo of this other city would have been a fine addition to the movie, and would have improved the accuracy of it.
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Not exactly good, nor as bad as most people would say
I think most peoples and my main issue with the film is the subject matter. Everyone has seen the events of pompeii on screen many times and hence the plot and ending are no surprise, so we must be entertained by only the visuals and some sort of love story. The acting and directing were mostly fine. Kit Harrington and Emily Browning were passable and Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje put in a noteworthy performance. The visuals and effects were by far the best aspect and kept the film very watchable and enjoyable to an extent throughout. The script was poor and most of the usual disaster movie clichés appeared at some point or other but in no way was it as awful as in say, 2012. Overall its probably not something to see at the cinema, but probably worth a watch on DVD or TV at some point. 5/10
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