Filmed in Toronto, Paul W.S. Anderson‘s Action-Adventure, Pompeii, long has been on our radars, piquing our curiosity just how our newly-upgraded Pinewood Studios would fare on the World Stage in an ever-compeitive landscape of expensive-looking 3-D Blockbusters. Visually and technically, the Film succeeds on many levels, giving us a ground-up view of Mount Vesuvius in 79 A.D. as it is about to errupt, eventually destroying completely the Roman-infiltrated City of Pompeii. And for this alone, we have plenty of reasons to love the Film. The destruction is catastrophic, the unforgiving fight scenes are brutal and the Love Story is about as tragic as it gets.
Pompeii centers around Milo (Kit Harington), a Slave-turned-Gladiator who falls in love with a privileged Cassia (Emily Browning), whom becomes the object of Roman Senator, Corvus’ (Kiefer Sutherland), affections. Cassia against hers and her Parents’ wills, finds herself in an arrangement to wed Corvus, who subjects Milo to repeated torture and punishment once he learns of her affections for Milo. In fellow enslaved Gladiator Atticus (Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje) does Milo find an unlikely Ally, both fighting for their lives against a reckless Corvus and his tyranny. Will it be too late though as Mount Vesuvius persistently threatens to errupt? Will Milo be able to save his beloved Cassia from harm’s way?
Harington navigates successfully the oft-difficult transition from Television to Movie Star and despite the Screenplay’s limitations, he absolutely is believable and accessible as our Tragic Hero – Herculean, yet vulnerable. Highly-undercast Browning also is a commanding presence, a perfect and sensible Counterpart to Milo. Despite the sometimes challenging tonal shifts here throughout the Story from brute Action Flick to Romance, all is tied together neatly in this uniquely-balanced Piece of Visual Poetry. You may even be moved to tears.
eOne Films release Pompeii on Friday, February 21, 2014.