‘Pompeii’ Trailer Offers Action, Romance and a 3D Volcano

Published 1 year ago by

Filmmaker Paul W.S. Anderson specializes in flashy video game cinema (Resident Evil, Mortal Kombat) and/or pulpy science-fiction (Event Horizon, Soldier), so he doesn’t necessarily seem the obvious choice to direct a Titanic-style love story – set against the backdrop of an infamous historical natural disaster – with the upcoming Pompeii. Then again, he also breathed newfound life into Alexandre Dumas’ The Three Musketeers a couple years ago, so maybe Anderson felt like going back in time again.

In Pompeii, finely-chiseled Celtic slave Kit Harington spends his days fighting in the gladiator arena, even while he carries a torch for his Roman master’s daughter (Emily Browning). Unfortunately for Jon Snow, she is betrothed to a much older senator (Kiefer Sutherland): a dangerous man who believes in maintaining the social order.

Of course, the political intrigue and tragic romance aspects of the story get pushed to the back of the line once Mt. Vesuvius begins to erupt, as evidenced by the large amounts of 3D spectacle, action sequences and set pieces that are featured throughout the Pompeii teaser trailer and the film’s newly-unveiled full-length trailer alike.

In addition to Game of Thrones star Harington, the Pompeii cast includes Jared Harris (The Mortal Instruments), Carrie-Anne Moss (Vegas), Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje (Thor: The Dark World) and Jessica Lucas (Evil Dead).

Check out three new images from Pompeii, in the gallery below (via USA Today):


Interestingly, though you might not guess it from the preview footage, Anderson’s historical blockbuster relies fairly heavily on practical effects, as Sutherland has informed USA Today “There are amazing computer effects, but only a third of the set was green screen. The rest was huge props, big sets, elaborate costumes, which I love.”

Anderson’s Resident Evil movies – he’s written all of them and directed three (not including the developing sixth installment) – have arguably suffered from diminishing returns of late, but Pompeii looks and sounds more like the kind of entertaining B-movie that he’s made his stock and trade. On some level, a narrative set around the Vesuvius meltdown is even timely, as Sutherland also told USA Today that:

“I’ve seen more natural disasters in the last five years than I have in my entire life. (The film) isn’t a history lesson, but it raises real issues that I think are worth discussing. It could happen again.”

Pompeii was scripted by Janet Scott and Lee Batchler (Batman Forever), Michael Robert Johnson (Sherlock Holmes) and Julian Fellowes (Romeo and Juliet (2013)); that mix of talent recalls how Anderson’s Three Musketeers was also penned by a blend of modern B-movie writers and storytellers who specialize in prestigious period drama fare. I won’t defend Anderson’s take on that classic literature as great filmmaking, but I had a blast watching it (and would argue that it embodies the spirit of Dumas’ source material better than you might think, at a passing glance).

In short: Pompeii seems like an enjoyable old-school Hollywood historical melodrama throwback, as realized through the eyes of a director whose speciality is low-grade action entertainment (and 3D moviemaking, nowadays).


Pompeii erupts in 2D and 3D theaters on February 21st, 2014.

Source: USA Today, Yahoo! Movies

Follow Sandy Schaefer on Twitter @feynmanguy
TAGS: Pompeii
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  1. Didn’t the Doctor already cover this already? Anyway, I’m not a fan of Paul W.S Anderson. Those Resident Evil movies suck ass in every way but I’ll stomach this for Jon Snow and Emily Browning.

  2. This movie will suck ass Sandy! Paul W.S. Anderson SUCKS!!!

  3. So this is Dantes Peak + Gladiator + 2012 = Paul WS Anderson crap!

  4. Looks good. Ill see it for sure.

    • Methinks this looks good.
      Methinks I shall watch this indeed!

  5. So, the black guy is going to die to save his white friend. Typical.

  6. Maybe on DVD………

  7. Kit Harrington, Emily Browning……and KIEFER SUTHERLAND?! I’m in!

  8. just wondering if anbody finds it weird that movies based on ancient civiliations usually all the caucasion actors speak with some type of British accent, but non caucasions usually have a African or Middle Eastern accent?

  9. I’m completely on board for an enjoyable old-school Hollywood historical melodrama throwback. Count me in. :)

  10. Maybe I’ll see it if a friend wants to see it it just doesn’t look like my kind of movie,iLife harrington from game of thrones though

  11. Remember, it is true story of 50% percent and 50% of another is false to addition story.

  12. Love Emily browning! Might see it for her alone. That CGI though…(sigh)

    • Yeah, Emily Browning is the reason I’d see it as well.

  13. if we get some kit harington nudity in this i’m all for it.

  14. Visuals look impressive but based on the director alone I’m passing on this flick. Paul W.S Anderson has succeeded in directing G A R B A G E and tricking thousands of lames into thinking his movies rock.

  15. From the trailer its not the sort of film to expect a surprise ending… It may be better than it appears, but probably not.

    • The movie would be good if it was revealed that Judge Dredd and Bilbo Baggins caused the volcano eruption.

  16. I would take some of these “Paul Anderson sucks” comments more seriously if they weren’t made by a bunch of people eagerly waiting and picking apart every bit of news about an upcoming Zack Snyder movie.

  17. Oh, so they finally made Titanic 2.

    Everyone is going to that movie to see one thing: The ship sink…err I mean, the volcano blow and the mass destruction eye candy that goes with it.

    I, of course, will be there. Duh.