This adequately entertaining sword-sandal-and-CGI historical action movie provides Kit Harington (exhumed hero of HBO fantasy Game of Thrones) with a big-screen breakout as a hairy gladiator that he suits better than the contemporary spy he played in last year’s Spooks: the Greater Good. Directed by the Resident Evil franchise’s Paul WS Anderson with a credible sense of scale and doom (Pompeii was originally presented in 3D, but it works well enough in 2D),like all good disasters, it’s driven by matinée romance. Harington fancies high-born Emily Browning, daughter of Jared Harris’s megalomaniac city elder who wants to marry her off to Kiefer Sutherland’s evil Roman. But Mount Vesuvius is historically bound to get in the way of all subplots when it rains hot debris upon the city and there’s running and screaming. It’s exploiting actual events for thrills, but it’s no more heinous than Titanic.
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