Premise: "OK, let's do a crappy Gladiator-esk knock off for the first hour... Wait, scratch that... Let's just flat-out copy Gladiator scene for scene, but again, crappier; and then for the last thirty minutes, let's add a volcano. Here's $100 million to play with, Paul W.S. Anderson." -Some stupid movie producer.
-There were like four cool shots of the volcano exploding. That about does it for the cinematography.
-Good horse acting.
-Jon Snow isn't quite ready to be a leading man yet. And Emily Browning isn't ready to be a leading lady yet. either. And Keifer Sutherland doesn't make for a good lead villain. Which is weird, because I just watched Stand By Me again on TV the other day, and he was a fantastic a-hole in that movie. But I guess that was 25 years ago... :/
-Also, something was just weird-looking about Sutherland, and I *think* it was because he was the only person in the whole movie to just keep his modern-day haircut...?
-The special effects didn't seem very $100 million dollar-y.
-Ya know, one of the coolest, most well-known aspects of the Pompeii disaster is the imagery of all the people in their last moments, encased in ash. Just the poses of all the different people tells a whole array of potentially interesting stories of the people of Pompeii. This movie chose to miss the point completely and just tell the forced love story of two drips who literally end the movie getting frozen in ash while making out in a field. Oops, sorry, spoiler alert... [fart noise]
-I was fairly tired going into this one, and I actually fell asleep for a few minutes in the first half of the movie, and a lady who came in late had to shake me awake so that I'd move my legs in order for her to get to her seat by her husband. It was pretty funny. But yeah, it was so boring I fell asleep.
-I was immensely uninvested in what was going on in this movie as it was happening. At one point I considered walking out, but I already paid $6 for this hogwash. But I mean, c'mon, even the volcano exploding was flat and slow. Didn't help that it was PG-13, either. Nothing is more disappointing than watching gladiators fight and *not* seeing any limbs flying off.
Final Thoughts: I guess this is what happens when you ask an incompetent director like Paul W.S. Anderson to helm a big budget period piece. You get the same cliche scene after cliche scene, the same cliche dialogue after same cliche diologue... But he used a serif font! I don't think he's done that before! If I have to call this movie remarkable for any reason, it's that it is mind-blowingly good at making a $100 million event film not feel anything like a $100 million event film. As of right now, we have a solid front-runner for worst film of 2014.
2.5 out of 10