Wednesday 30 April 2014

Review: Pompeii

World of Blackout Film Review

Pompeii (3D) Poster

Pompeii (3D) (SPOILERS*1)
Cert: 12A / 104 mins / Dir. Paul W.S. Anderson
WoB Rating: 2/7

So, I usually get a coffee when I'm at the cinema. A soft drink will be too big if I'm on my own, and I don't eat any of the food they serve there. So, just a coffee. As with any drink in the cinema, those holders built into the seats are a godsend. It appears, however, that some bright spark decided to deposit their chewing gum at the bottom of my particular drinks-holder recently. Not seeing this in the dark, I put my coffee in there, where the heat melted the hardened gum and reanimated the confectionary, like some sort of spearmintint zombie*2. But it was dark, and I wasn't seeing this. The heat from the cup meant I didn't feel it transferring to my hand, either. The first I realised was when I I felt something sticking my hand to my phone as I ensured it was on silent. By this point the film was about to start, so I picked off what I could and resolved not to touch my face for the next hundred minutes*3. So now, I've not only got someone's hepatitis-C-laced gum on my hands for the duration of the film, but also my phone (since cleaned), and also on the inside of my phone-sleeve (currently in the freezer for gum-removal, later).

And this was still the best thing that happened in Screen 3 tonight.

I wasn't expecting much from Paul W.S. Anderson, because while I quite enjoyed the Resident Evil films, his recent Musketeers adaptation left much to be desired. The opening few minutes of Pompeii promise some rather nice cinematography and a bold, stirring score, setting the tone for the arrogance of the Roman Empire at its height. And then the cast begin to speak. Oh. The script...

Imagine a pantomime written by a twelve-year-old, but with all the jokes taken out so that you're just laughing at unintentionally funny parts. Throw in some decent fight-choreography, but set over half of the film at night so that the dimly lit sets are made even murkier by the audience's 3D glasses. Get your American actors to affect British accents which they have no hope of maintaining*4. Then just for a laugh, make sure the final scene of your film couldn't be more telegraphed if it was printed on the bottom of the cinema ticket.

Normally, I'd say that I can't remember the last time I was so bored and annoyed by something that looks so visually spectacular, but sadly I can.

Utter, utter shite.
I was happy when everyone died.

Is the trailer representative of the film?
Oh, you think the trailer looks bad..?

Did I laugh, cry, gasp and sigh when I was supposed to?
Well, I laughed too much, but soon I even stopped doing that.

Does it achieve what it sets out to do?
There were only fifteen people in the entire screen on the film's opening day (Orange Wednesday, as well), and the guy in the row in front went to the toilet four times. So, no.

Pay at the cinema, Rent on DVD or just wait for it to be on the telly?
None of these options.

Will I think less of you if we disagree about how good/bad this film is?
Yes, I will.

Will I watch it again?
No, I won't.

Is there a Wilhelm Scream?
I thought I heard one at a couple of points, but if it was there then it was well buried.

And if I HAD to put a number on it…

And my question for YOU is…
What the actual fuck is Kiefer Sutherland doing?
Seriously, though, what?

*1 Although Paul W.S. Anderson's the one who's really spoiled everything, by making the film in the first place.
*2 Actually, that's a great name for a strip club. Some good has come out of tonight.
*3 Some achievement with a movie as face-palmingly awful as this one.
*4 All the more pointlessly because their characters wouldn't have been speaking in English anyway, so their accents aren't making anything more "believable", just more "distracting".

• ^^^ That's dry, British humour, and most likely sarcasm or facetiousness.
• Yen's blog contains harsh language and even harsher notions of propriety. Reader discretion is advised.
• This is a personal blog. The views and opinions expressed here represent my own thoughts (at the time of writing) and not those of the people, institutions or organisations that I may or may not be related with unless stated explicitly.

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