More Movie Critic

by kpmautner

On the other hand, just saw another recent release (fortunately on Netflix and did not have to spend a fortune in the theatre). “Pompeii”. If you want a swords-and-swashbuckling, visually entertaining, epic romance-with-gladiators, have at it! If you want historical accuracy, grit your teeth.

First off, the plot line is lifted verbatim from Bullwer-Lytton’s “The Last Days of Pompeii” (though uncredited – I guess it’s in the public domain). Second, the gladiatorial combat sequences are lifted from “Gladiator” (now THAT was a film!). Lastly, the really spectacular volcano eruptions and the destruction of the city are not accurate: the city was buried under meters and meters of volcanic ash, not lava (although lava makes for a much more picturesque destruction).

I will admit that the set designers did quite a marvellous job of recreating the city based on the current state of the excavations there. I visited the site over the winter, and it’s very close to what I imagined it would have looked like before the eruption.

One item for horse-folk: count how many different horses play the part of the heroine’s special pet!

And may your swash never buckle.