Friday, 2 May 2014

#FilmFriday #ESPspotlight Review: POMPEII

It's quite the heavy start for the first #FilmFriday review. Although it's a premise many of us have seen before, no-one can deny that the latest historical depictionDirector and Producer Wes Anderson's Pompeii is EPIC, in every sense of the word.

The tale follows the life of young Milo, who witnesses the slaughter of his celtic family, and destruction of his village by the army of Roman tyrant Corvus, played by a strangely evil Keifer Sutherland (strange in the same way that Joey's 'Southern' accent was actually Jamaican, strange).

Photo courtesy of Official Site
Kidnapped and traded into slavery, Milo (a heart-stopping Kit Harington) grows up a revered Gladiator. Known simply as 'The Celt', his reputation precedes him. Seventeen years on from the initial brutal massacre, and now owned by the family of Pompeii's ruler Severus; a chance meeting with his beautiful daughter Cassia (Emily Browning) - who is fleeing home from a troubled year in Rome, sparks an instant connection, when Milo helps her on her journey, to his own detriment.

Thrown into a cell with undefeated Gladiator Atticus (Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje), both soon learn their fate is to fight one another to the death, for the title of Champion of Pompeii, and the entertainment of all in the city's Amphitheatre. Atticus has been promised his freedom under the law - provided he win one last battle.

Enemies soon become friends, as Milo realises that the plan is to kill he, and Atticus both, through a reenactment of what is considered to be Corvus' finest hour - the massacre of Milo's village as a child. The Gladiators survive the sneak attack, and Corvus' motives are uncovered, as he attempts to blackmail Severus for Cassia's hand. We also learn that Corvus' spurned advances are the real reason for Cassia's hasty flight from the corrupt city.

In the jail cells underground, slave wrangler Graecus (Joe Pingue) warns Severus that the Amphitheatre will not withstand the coming eruption from Mount Vesuvius, but Severus ignores him, unaware that Senator Corvus plans to double-cross him further, with Rome's new Emperor Titus, and so Severus goes ahead with the spectacle. Above ground, a vengeful Corvus uses the first earthquake to claim that the Gods have decreed that Milo - whom he does not recognise from childhood, but senses his chemistry with Cassia - should battle his chief officer Proculus (a VERY handsome Sasha Roiz) in one-on-one combat. Though the two begin, the mountain erupts, sending both crashing to the jail cells below, razing half of the Amphitheatre to the ground...

From there on, it really is a battle to the death for everybody concerned; some make it, some don't, some inspire hope eternal, some die in boats, I'm not going to ruin the ending for you, if you haven't read that particular history book - but there are some matters of importance that you, my dear readers, need to know.
  1. Kit Harington and Sasha Roiz give something too great for words in this blockbuster - the very least we can do in return, is pledge our undying allegiance to the wardrobe department and specifically, the cutter(s) of their leathers and armour. Hugely talented people there.
  2. Try your hardest to overlook Kiefer Sutherland's (non-)British accent - you really do get the feel that Jack Bauer's predecessor is punishing everyone for future crimes against his clearly smarter descendant. Jack always survived my Roman friend - s'all I'm saying.
  3. Kit Harington makes you long to be a horse. Not a European one obviously - no-one's trying to end up as a spherical meat slab on a fast food grill, after all.
  4. The special effects in this film are stunning. If you can, I would wholly encourage the 3D viewing option (gasp), as it would be money well spent.
  5. Ladies - this one is all for us. Forget what anyone else may tell you and listen to me only; Kit, Sasha, even Adewale - who has an EPIC last line, and scene to be honest - they are Manly, they are leather-skirted, they are MEN (insert Tarzan like roaring and chest-banging). And they are not onscreen in those (far too) modest Gladiator skirts for long enough. Enjoy girls, E.N.J.O.Y.
Have you seen Hollywood's latest moneymaker yet? Do you agree with my take on it? What are your thoughts? Share them with myself, and all the other readers, in the Comments Box below - I'd love to hear your feedback! And for those who need reminding exactly who Kit Harington is, this one's for YOU (you're welcome)...

NOW we know who Adele was singing about - Kit Harington Sets Fire To The Rain alright...

Until the next!
ES ;)