Thursday, May 29, 2014



Kit Harington, Emily Browning


Fabruary 21, 2014

Paul W.S. Anderson

TriStar Pictures,

1 hour 44 minutes



It's weird that the makers behind films about history's greatest disasters think that adding cliched characters, a dumb love story, and 3D make a good movie, because it hasn't worked since "Titanic" came out back in 1997.  "Pompeii" comes to us from notorious director Paul W.S. (not to be confused with Paul Thomas) Anderson, whose contributions to the film industry include the panned "Resident Evil" franchise, as well as the "Three Musketeers" reimagining from 2011.  As someone who enjoyed "The Three Musketeers" for its sheer stupidity and sense of fun, "Pompeii" was something I was very curious in seeing.  I wasn't expecting anything amazing, but I at least wanted to have a decent time watching it.  Boy, was I in for a disappointing 104 minutes.

Aside from the pretty horrendous CGI and the obvious looking sets that this movie was shot on, "Pompeii" suffered from W.S. Anderson trying to get not the best performances out of his actors, but the best impersonations out of his actors.  For example, Kit Harrington of "Game of Thrones" fame is basically imitating Orlando Bloom from "Pirates of the Caribbean" here to poor results, Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje is trying to do his best Idris Elba/Nelson Mandela impersonation, and worst of all, Kiefer Sutherland possesses a British accent so bad, it sounded almost as if he was trying to mix Jeremy Irons' character from "Beautiful Creatures" with Lord Farquad from "Shrek," resulting in one hell of a horrendous performance.  The only person here who actually managed to give a performance that was somewhat decent was Emily Browning, but that really isn't saying much.

It seems that almost every film revolving around a historical tragedy must involve cliched villains, a piss-poor script that sloppily puts the back-drop of the catastrophe in there for no apparent reason other than to do it, and a sappy love story that every one knows won't last because one or both of the lovers will meet their demise.  The only movie that ever got this formula right was "Titanic," and that was simply because it was the first time it had been done, and that worked really well to the film's benefit.  "Pompeii," on the other hand, is an absolute mess of a movie.  This was just another cheap excuse for a studio to try to get some "easy" money using attractive actors, pretty-ish visuals, and an unnecessary use of 3D.  The best way to watch this film, if any, is with a bunch of friends who you know could easily shred this movie to pieces with you at their side.  Other than that, there is no rhyme or reason to actually view this movie whatsoever.

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