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Saturday 18 August 2018

UP POMPEII? Hmm. There's a nagging feeling that this disaster epic is a cut-and-paste of lots of swords-and-sandles movies you've seen before.

Historical/Disaster

UP POMPEII? Hmm. There's a nagging feeling that this disaster epic is a cut-and-paste of lots of swords-and-sandles movies you've seen before.

There's a gladiator who's forced to fight to survive in the arena. He's got a black pal who's also a noble warrior.

There's a nasty nemesis in the shape of a high-powered Roman official.

And the gladiator has caught the eye of a good-looking noble woman (and we've got a Titanic-style love story).

So take all these bits from Ridley Scott's Gladiator, add in a volcanic eruption from Dante's Peak and, hey presto, you've got Pompeii.

Visually it's not bad at all, and the fight scenes are good, but there's something lacking: character development.

Here enslaved gladiator Milo (Kit Harrington), whose Celtic family were wiped out when he was a boy, is forced to fight in the arena for Rome's amusement.

Evil Senator Corvus (a poorly- used Kiefer Sutherland) threatens him with death as he's his main rival in love for the affections of the Pompeii mayor's daughter Cassia (Emily Browning).

It all plods along, and when the volcano finally comes, late on in the movie, you're praying that all involved will end up covered in ash and in a museum.

It's not a bad watch, just average. Flick to the ending and enjoy the disaster unfolding.

DVD extras: The two-disc Blu-Ray is decent, with a code to redeem an UltraViolet HD digital copy, audio commentary, deleted and alternate scenes, historical special on the real Pompeii, and features on stunts and special effects.Not bad at all.

>>> Mark Evans

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