Movie Review: Pompeii

Pompeii, directed by Paul W. S. Anderson, opened in theaters Feb. 21. It stars British actor Kit Harington, Australian actress Emily Browning, and “24” star Keifer Sutherland.

The eruption of Pompeii was an epic disaster, and one would expect that the story Hollywood created surrounding such an event would elicit some fairly high standards. Being that my favorite genre of film is drama, my expectations were quite high—anticipating great action, a classic romance and some serious character building. Sadly, my expectations were not quite met.

The movie is overall decent, but there is little to no character development, which drops the quality significantly. Movies like Titanic and Pearl Harbor do such a wonderful job developing the characters, creating great special effects, while trying to remain as historically accurate as possible. With this film, by simply adding 30 minutes (making it a full two hours), they could have raised the quality drastically.

The special effects were well done, the set was beautiful and the acting was top-notch. However, none of this makes up for the total lack of development for the main characters. I felt like I almost connected with a smaller character more than the main characters and was more moved by his role in the film.

Image from FilmBook
Image from FilmBook

The creators of the film seemed far too focused on the sword fighting (because one of the main characters was a gladiator) and the special effects than the characters whom the plot revolved around. It was almost a race to the end without actually getting a good feel for the characters and the love they developed for one another.

Negatives aside, the film was still enjoyable. If you’re a fan of action and natural disaster movies and you don’t mind a lot of violence, this is a movie you’ll want to see. However, if you enjoy good romance and a well-developed dramatic plot and characters, go with a more open frame of mind expecting more sword fighting than romance.