If you think any review of Pompeii is a potential spoiler then I urge you to stop reading this review right now and go and give yourself a history lesson. But please, make sure you get that lesson from a book, do not use this film as a history lesson in any way.

You will be surprised at how many people I have heard in cinemas over the last few months, while viewing the trailer for Pompeii, complaining about being shown the volcanic eruption, as if they never knew it was coming. 

Paul W. S. Anderson, the director behind Mortal Kombat, Resident Evil and Alien vs Predator, delivers a disaster film based on a real life natural disaster that ultimately plays out as a cross between Gladiator and 2012.

The whole film feels rushed. It's almost as if Anderson didn't care about the story or characters but just wanted to focus all of his attention on the final 30 minutes that consist of an impressive eruption, flooding and many, many people running away.

Before the big finale, Pompeii follows slave-turned-gladiator Milo (Kit Harington) on his journey towards revenge for the death of his mother at the hands of Senator Corvus (Kiefer Sutherland). 

Befriending fellow gladiator Atticus (Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje) and falling for Cassia (Emily Browning) means Milo has more than revenge on his mind when Mount Vesuvius eventually erupts.

The story is very thin but what is more annoying is the waste of talent at the director's disposal. Pompeii has arguably the best cast Anderson has had the chance to work with but due to poor direction and an awful script, they had no chance right from the very off.

Harington, best known for playing Jon Snow in the hit show Game of Thrones, plays the tough guy well but there is no room here for any character development meaning there is no opportunity to show any range in his acting.

Sutherland has played the bad guy before and he more than hams it up here, he just does so with an atrocious British accent. Carrie-Anne Moss and Jared Harris are others that find themselves wasted in Pompeii.

At the end of the day, Pompeii is quite simply garbage however, it is watchable garbage.

Verdict: 1.5/5


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