NOT-YOUR-USUAL ACTION FIGURES: The dreamy - but tiny - Kit Harington stars as a Celt in Pompeii, while the dainty-looking Emily Browning, playing a fancy Roman girl, is his love interest.


    Feb 27, 2014



    Kit Harington, Emily Browning, Kiefer Sutherland


    Paul W. S. Anderson


    In the days of the Roman Empire, a Celt named Milo (Harington) is taken prisoner after his family is slaughtered. He eventually becomes a gladiator in the city of Pompeii, where he falls in love with the fancy Roman girl Cassia (Browning). Unfortunately, a sleazy senator, Corvus (Sutherland), also has eyes for the girl. Then a volcano explodes!

    Rating: PG13


    Where's Milla Jovovich when you need her? Only hardcore Paul Anderson fans will get this disaster flick.


    The New Paper

    DIRECTOR Anderson is a hero of mine.

    He managed to bag Milla Jovovich as his bride, and so has my eternal admiration.

    Some say he makes silly movies - the Resident Evil flicks, The Three Musketeers - to which I would say, good for him!

    Stupid movies are a dime a dozen, but silly movies like Pompeii are something of a dying art.

    I love Anderson's child-like audacity in taking the basic architecture of Gladiator and then throwing in a volcano.

    He's like a kid playing with action figures.

    Another thing I like about Anderson is that he's got great taste in action figures.

    Most of the casting in action movies tend to be ham-fisted - get the biggest star you can find, preferably the guy with the broadest shoulders or the girl with the best boobs.

    Anderson is more idiosyncratic in his approach, going with the dreamy - but tiny - Game Of Thrones star Harington as his lead.

    This kid is so soulful and sad-eyed, the exact opposite of Marky Mark or The Rock.

    The beguiling Browning is also perfect as his love interest, a dainty-looking porcelain doll with an unexpected fire inside.

    I love Anderson. I love these actors. I love the volcano.

    My only complaint is there's no Milla.

    Rating: 4/5


    The New Paper

    I HAD the opportunity to visit Pompeii many, many years ago.

    I was a kid then, but I can still recall vividly the Roman ruins, the majestic architecture and whatever that was painstakingly preserved.

    Yes, I'm still very much in awe of the ancient city, now a Unesco World Heritage Site.

    While I'm glad this movie tries to romanticise what Pompeii citizens would have been doing before their doom, I didn't expect it to be a mishmash of Gladiator and Titanic, with bits of The Horse Whisperer and other sword-and-sandal flicks thrown in.

    But then again, this is helmed by Anderson, so I shouldn't be expecting any high-brow stuff.

    So what's my beef with Pompeii? The absence of Milla Jovovich.

    Anderson has built a reputation for making cheesy, popcorn entertainment flicks, all of which I enjoyed.

    His earlier movies thrived on Jovovich's charisma, which Harington and Browning sorely lack. He packs no punch in the acting department while she is still as glassy-eyed as ever.

    What Anderson does best here is deliver explosive spectacles and fast-paced action.

    It's amazing how everything becomes more fun when the lava takes over.

    Rating: 2/5