Film review: Pompeii 3D (12A, 104 min)

Pompeii: Corvus (Kiefer Sutherland)

Pompeii: Corvus (Kiefer Sutherland)

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You’ll be glad when it’s all lava

Director Paul WS Anderson (Resident Evil) embraces the cliches of the disaster movie with this unintentionally amusing swords and sandals epic set in the shadow of a grumbling Mount Vesuvius.

Not since 1997, when Dante’s Peak and Volcano went head-to-head at the box office, has the fiery wrath of Mother Nature been unleashed with such pyrotechnic-laden fury.

A lengthy climax expertly cuts together aerial shots of devastation with close-ups of the scantily clad cast falling victim to magma and a tsunami, systematically cutting off the various escape routes until the only option left is to run.

As the city tumbles to its corrupt foundations, the three scriptwriters insist on finding reasons for the two dimensional characters to delay their exodus.

Pompeii is built on the shaky foundations of a ramshackle script that doesn’t flesh out any of the characters in any sufficient detail to make us care one jot about their fates.

Action/Romance. Kit Harington, Emily Browning, Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje, Jared Harris, Kiefer Sutherland, Jessica Lucas, Sasha Roiz, Joe Pingue, Dylan Schombing. Director: Paul WS Anderson.