Pompeii: Five Things We Learned…
Pompeii, the new blockbuster that stars Game Of Thrones heartthrob Kit Harington as an all-action gladiator fighting for his life in the shadow of an enormous volcano in ancient Italy, hits cinemas tomorrow (April 30). We caught a preview screening and here are five things we learned…
Kit Harrington is… an action star in the making
He might only be 5'9, but the man best known to everyone as Jon Snow sure can swing a sword. Some of the scenes in the arena with him and fellow star Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje fighting off hordes of opponents are high-octane and supremely choreographed. This is when the film is really at its best.
Paul W. S. Anderson knows how to do action set pieces
Of course he does, this is the man who has been at the rudder of five Resident Evil films. The shield shattering and sword swinging is directed with real vigour and panache.
It feels a lot like… two different films bolted together
It's not like the fact that this huge, ancient volcano erupted is anybody's fault, no-one tripped and accidentally set it off, the mountain can't really play the role of the villain. As a result, Pompeii feels oddly like two films, the first is a nuts and bolts, rags to riches action flick with Harrington's character as a badass gladiator, who quite frankly, could be doing this anywhere in Italy. The second half of the film is a lot of people running away from the firebombs that are descending from the volcano, as you would…
Kiefer Sutherland… camps it right up
Given the mountain can't answer for its behaviour, the film instead plumps for Kiefer Sutherland to be the antagonist. The 24 man plays the slimy as you like Senator Corvis, a gentleman with his eye on the biggest job in Rome. He's not terrifying, nor especially angry, he instead goes for the Bond villain, high-camp performance, that of a man who can never just leave a room, he has to sweep out of it. It's fun, but not truly villainous.
This is an action bash up, not a historical drama
For all the detail that it's in the set design and the costumes, this is a not an attempt to do a real historical drama. This is about the spectacle and the action, not the characters and how they dealt with this extraordinary situation. File next to 300, not The King's Speech.
Pompeii is released into cinemas tomorrow (April 30th).