Pompeii has it all: plenty of action and visual effects, a sizzling romance and an erupting volcano.
Let's set the scene: The adventure thriller is set in in the Roman City of Pompeii in 79 A.D. and tells the tale of slave-turned gladiator Milo (Kit Harington), who races against time to save his true love Cassia (Emily Browning), who is betrothed to a corrupt Roman Senator. However, Milo faces some other major obstacles as well: Mount Vesuvius is spewing blazing lava and he must fight for his life, as well as save Pompeii, as it falls apart around him.
Harington is no stranger to carrying a sword and fighting for what he wants in front of the camera— after all, he does portray Jon Snow on Game of Thrones. Directed by Paul W.S. Anderson, here is a sampling of what critics are saying about Pompeii:
The Hollywood Reporter's Jordan Mintzer writes that "the lava flows by the ton, as does the cheese, in Pompeii, a kitschy apocalyptic peplum whose visual epiphanies—of which there are definitely a few—cannot outdo a B- (or C- or D-) grade scenario that will have lots of eyes rolling by the time the big stack finally blows."
"The Romans give you every reason to wish for their destruction in Paul W.S. Anderson's Pompeii, a campy, concept-driven disaster pic that mistakes the eruption of Vesuvius for the biblical account of Sodom and Gomorrah, where an entire city is deemed expendable on mostly moral grounds. Taking a page from Titanic, the film invents a rich-girl/poor-boy romance, puts a powerful suitor in their way and then besets their star-crossed love story with CG lava showers, rendered all the more spectacular in stereoscopic 3D. In short, Pompeii is a blast, at least by guilty-pleasure standards, opening to massive worldwide potential in a relatively uncompetitive February frame," concludes Variety's Peter Debruge.
The Wrap's This is, after all, Titanic with lava instead of ice, a tale of two pretty young people from different castes who discover their perfect love just as their world is about to go to hell, and even those who hated James Cameron's hit romance will find themselves thinking more kindly of it after they watch Browning and Kit Harington moon over each other with one facial expression between them."
"Pompeii has a killer ending," The Washington Post's Stephanie Merry explains. "Billowing clouds of ash swallow the ancient Roman town and fireballs rain down from above; whole city blocks slide into the sea and a tsunami tears through the streets, leveling everything in its path. When Mount Vesuvius erupts—feel free to direct spoiler complaints to Pliny the Younge—the movie is completely absorbing. You just have to sit through more than an hour of derivative plot and tired dialogue to get there."
Pompeii hits theaters on Friday. Do you plan to see it?