REVIEW – POMPEII

Pompeii. In Year 12 I studied Pompeii as a topic for Ancient History, It was by far my favourite topic. So much so, that I envisioned one day I would make a movie based on the event. I found myself sitting in the theatre waiting in anticipation for it to begin as well as hear special guest Kit Harington speak about his lead role, Milo in the film. The Game of Thrones star spoke about his whirlwind ride filming Pompeii, with a lot of fabulous fight scenes and incredible CGI. He also spoke about his brilliant time in Sydney over four days, with this trip consisting of him climbing the Harbour Bridge and a yacht tour around the harbour.

Prior to the film commencing we were treated to a 15 minute preview of upcoming Game of Thrones season 4 behind the scenes footage. This only enhanced everyones excitement. The film began and I found myself a little disheartened by the product put forth. I really wanted to love it. But instead left the cinema feeling as though it was average.

The first half of the film was a little dragging. The story lines were established in these parts and I found the actual fight scenes were the scenes that actually contributed to keeping the audience attentive. The movie started to pick up around the middle especially when Vesuvius started to erupt. The sense of urgency heightened by the special effects used as well as the sound really helped bring the film back to the core of what it was all about. I actually felt as though Vesuvius was a character in itself. At one point as it’s erupting, the sound of the explosion merging with the other elements of the eruption actually made it seem as though a voice was booming from the depths of the volcano.

The 3D effects were really well done in this film. It’s been years since I last felt as though the 3D effect drew me in, like I was actually about to be hit by something, take note this happens when a piece of debris comes flying towards the audience. The cinematic brilliance of the tidal wave as well as the lava exploding from the volcano and travelling to engulf everything in its path was quite breathtaking to watch.

The performances by the actors were at times a little overdramatic and over performed. I found myself cringing at certain lines thinking, really? This may have also occurred due to the way the lines were delivered. My interpretation of this is that the script lacked, and it may also have to do with the direction given to the actors. There were elements of Gladiator as well as Spartacus and a close parallel to Titanic, I even found myself turning around to my guest and saying how similar the love triangle was to Titanic and then I hear music that practically resembled the famed Titanic track, My Heart Will Go On.

The one thing I did notice was the different side to Kit Harington. This performance shows he has some versatility, that he can act apart from the always sombre Jon Snow. Kit Harington and Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje (Atticus) were by far my favourite characters and performers. Some of the scenes between them were quite entertaining and at times I found myself thinking, ‘what are they going to do next?’

I went in there expecting something different and therefore walked away thinking it didn’t hit that mark and I feel like the script was at fault. On the other hand my guest really enjoyed the film. He agreed that the film really worked well when Vesuvius started erupting. It comes down to, how engrossed you are with the topic, some have found the film represents the events well and others say there are certain elements lost within the story put forth. You be the judge.

Rating: 2.5/5
☆☆ 1/2

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