Sunday, 4 May 2014

#29 POMPEII

#29 POMPEII

Directed by Paul W.S Anderson, starring that bloke from 24, that other bloke, the posh one, from that other show and that some other people. 105 minutes long.

The year is 75 AD. Europe is entirely occupied by Romans. Well, not entirely... One small holiday resort of moderately rebellious Pompeiians, who live under the shadow of a mountain who grumbles, holds out against the Roman empire by turning their backs on visiting Rome senators.

Looking and sounding like a sub-standard Asterix the Gaul adventure, Pompeii is a classic movie mash up of two genres - gladiators and disaster movies.

'It's Gladiators meets Dante's Peak!' Said Paul Anderson (no, the other one, the one who did Resident Evil, The 3 Musketeers and Aliens Vs Predators - or AVP if you must) in the pitch meeting one summer ago in Hollywood and not only was the movie instantly green lit but he also won the award for shortest movie pitch E-V-E-R!

So, in a nutshell, a 10-year old Celt watches his family die at the hands of evil baddie, Kev Sutherland and before you can say, Conan The Barbarian (the one with Arnie) 10 years have passed and our scruffy-haired, little nerfherder has grown up to be Kit Harington and become a bad ass in the sword and sandal department as-well-as a horse-whisperer, that is when he's not breaking their necks with his bare-hands. Anyway, quick as a flash, our plucky hero has made friends with a pretty rich girl back from her gap year hols in Rome, and a veteran black Gladiator with only one fight to go before he retires (guess what happens to him?) and together they all find time to run around a lot,  fight in huge arenas, fall in love, get revenge for the death of various loved ones, have chariot races, out-race a tsunami, battle in 300-style slomo clashes AND pout heroically in the rain, and all before the volcano cracks and blows a gasket. Oh crap! I forget to put in a SPOILER ALERT, I hope I haven't spoiled this film for anyone, but seriously the volcano explodes and everyone dies.

Hmm, this isn't the shit sandwich i'd been lead to believe by American reports, true it's not very good but it's certainly a hell of a lot more entertaining that the (Un)Amazing Spider-Sham 2 which I appreciate is like saying that one type of poo is better than another. Incidentally talking of poo have you ever heard of the Bristol Stool Chart? It's a chart used in UK hospitals to gauge a patient's stool movements. Here it is.

 Well, if Pompeii is Type 3 - Like a suasage, but with cracks on the surface, then Spider Man 2 (the Amazing) is a huge steaming pile of 6 - Fluffy pieces with ragged edges, a mushy stool.

So, they're both shit, it's just of the two, Pomepii is a lot more pleasant to pass the time. Perhaps pleasant isn't the right word, perhaps satisfying is better?

If you can ignore the liberties taken with history and plot, the rather clumsy script and the repetition of beats, plot points and action then this film is just about passable.

5/10


Incidentally a sequel is already underway, they're going to call it: POMPEIIII which, interestingly enough is the noise the victims of the original volcano said when they died.





1 comment:

  1. I bought a pre-owned copy of this film from a car boot (legit copy, I hassen to add) for 50p. And I still felt hard done by. By the way, what was up with Kev Sutherland's accent?

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