February 23, 2014

Critical Capsule: Pompeii 3D

So, the other day, against better judgment, I went and saw Pompeii 3D. I had a feeling going in that it was probably going to be a mistake, but I found some reasons to justify my presence due to the director's prior work and his 3D resume, and there I was. The trailers did not look particularly interesting, plus we know how it ends. Still, there I was, front and center, opening day with maybe three or four other people in the theater. That was the total there, no fear of selling out and no fear that I would not get my preferred seat location. As you can see, I am also reaching for things to say.

Pompeii 3D is pretty worthless. There really is nothing here to see or to care about. It is an attempt to create a disaster movie with emotional pull from a real event. I guess they thought they could recreate the fictionalized reality that worked so well for Titanic. They were wrong. What they made is a movie with a bland tale of a slave turned gladiator (Kit Harrington) who catches the eye of local royalty (Emily Browning), creating a doomed romance (since we already know what happens to the city). On top of that, there is the presence of a Roman senator (Kiefer Sutherland) who may invest in the city through the city's ruler (Jared Harris).

All of it just a means to kill time before the volcano erupts and the disaster takes over. There is nothing to hold your attention, nothing is interesting, none of the cast has chemistry, and everything is rather bland and lifeless. Kiefer Sutherland seems an unlikely choice for a Roman official, and that is made fact by his weak performance. Harrington and Browning have little chemistry. Frankly, the only cast member who seems to have put forth any effort is Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje as Atticus, he has personality and tried to breathe a little life into the proceedings.

Paul WS Anderson was in the director's chair and while I generally enjoy his work, particularly the Resident Evil films and Event Horizon, this is not one of his better efforts. He still shows that he is able when it comes to delivering good looking 3D, but he has little else to work with here to make it interesting in any fashion. The screenplay from the team of Janet Scott-Batchler and Lee Batchler (Batman Forever), and Michael Robert Johnson (Sherlock Holmes), proves to be bland an uninspired.

Best I can say is avoid this. If you want disaster, there are plenty of better ones out there, usually based on fictional events. This is a complete non-entity that you will forget as soon as you leave the theater.

Not Recommended.

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