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home : columnists and contributors : columnists and contributors April 29, 2016

3/5/2014 8:51:00 AM
Movie Review: Pompeii
Cynthia Morse Zumbaugh

I'm thinking that the producers of this movie brainstormed and said, "What effects could look really cool in 3-D? Lava and ash and some fire explosions - a volcano!"

So Vesuvius it is.

The special effects are good, although I did not see it in 3-D, but that is about the most you can say for this movie.

I'm probably going to get some major disagreement on this statement, but when I see a movie about Pearl Harbor, for example, I'm enough of a history buff that I want to see a movie about the event, not a love story with the event unfolding in the background. Same thing with the sinking of the Titanic and, in this case; I want less love story and more history. Obviously, since one or two people seemed to have gone to see Titanic, I may be in the minority here. But we're about an hour in to the movie before the actual eruption and the liberties taken with that are astounding. Tsunami? Really?

This is the story of Milo, a.k.a. the Celt, who sees his family killed at a young age and becomes an amazing gladiator. He falls for Cassia (Emily Browning,) a rich merchant's daughter. (Poor boy, rich girl, star crossed love - this is original stuff.) None of the performances are very inspired, but the stilted dialogue certainly doesn't aid them in their endeavors. This script tries to be many things and pretty much manages to fail at all of them.

The one character/performance that I did enjoy was Adewale Akinnuoye Agbaje as Atticus; his character at least had some personality. Kiefer Sutherland, with a strange accent that came and went from scene to scene is entertaining as Corvus, but not necessarily in a good way.

Rated PG 13, there is really no sex or nudity to speak of, but there are some pretty intense scenes that could frighten younger children. There is little to no profanity and it could be a history lesson if someone is there to separate fact from fiction.

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