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Thursday, June 5, 2014




Jon Snow Vs. The Volcano

Pompeii is a cross between Romeo and Juliet, Gladiator, and The Day After Tomorrow, in which the love story of a rich Pompeiian girl and a studly gladiator slave is rudely interrupted by, in this order, Jack Bauer and an apolcalyptic volcanic eruption that annihilates life in the picturesque Italian coastal town of Pompeii. Kit Harrington (Jon Snow from Game of Thrones) is the gladiator, the lone survivor of a Celtic tribe of horse whisperers decimated by Roman legions lead by Kiefer Sutherland in Britannia. Harrington grew up to become a formidable gladiator prized by his fat Roman slave master and sent to Pompeii to main event their annual festival's gladiator games against the reigning champion Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje (Mr. Eko from Lost now mega buff and playing the Djimon Hounsou role from Gladiator). Along the way, handsome Harrington caught the eye of wealthy, willfull Emily Browning, who unfortunately is the apple of Sutherland's eye. Sutherland is now a powerful senator perpetually amused by doing whatever evil thing crosses his mind every second.

Somehow, Pompeii manages to be a movie about the famed volcanic destruction of that town while never actually identifying said volcano. In Pompeii, Mt. Vesuvius is only referred to as "the mountain." The mountain also plays by the tried and true movie rules laid down by the shark from Jaws and more recently, Godzilla, by only making fleeting and ominous appearances for most of the movie before finally getting some action in the third act. The mountain does thoughtfully pause its eruptions and raining of fireballs from the sky to accommodate romantic plot points and sword fights by the leads. By the time the mountain all out blows its stack, the romantic triangle between Harrington, Browning, and Sutherland has sparked copious amounts of swordplay, violence, and murders. Then the volcano destroys everyone else Sutherland and Harrington didn't kill. Harrington, called "the Celt" or "slave" by everyone in the movie, also closely guards his real name; Browning never even finds out what her buff intended's name is (Milo). Pompeii, if nothing else, should have riffed from Casablanca and included the line that the problems of two kids don't amount to a hill of beans in this world, especially when that hill of beans is a volcano wiping out everyone and everything in Pompeii.