The Standard’s resident film reviewer Gavin Miller looks at the latest blockbuster that doesn’t quite erupt into a round of applause.
With its ‘love story amidst a disaster’ angle it was tagged as being similar to Titanic – sadly the only thing it has in common is that it sinks too.
This big-budget Gladiator-wannabe spectacle bombed across the pond – making a meagre $23m on a $100m plus production budget – and it’s not hard to see why with its very TV movie feel.
With a few entertaining action set-pieces it’s not the worst film to while away nearly two hours, with Game of Thrones’ Kit Harington proving to be an amiable lead as six-packed slave-turned-gladiator Milo, but sadly his chemistry with fellow warrior Atticus (Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje) is better than with rich merchant’s daughter Cassia (Emily Browning).
And though Milo and Cassia have taken a fancy to one another, she is being forced to marry a corrupt Roman senator (played woefully by a hammed-up Kiefer Sutherland) – who (would you believe it) is the same guy who ordered the butchering of Milo’s family when he was a kid.
So, as Mount Vesuvius erupts in the background, Milo faces a race against time to save his new love before all the city’s inhabitants perish.
Sadly for a film that badly wants to be a glorious blockbuster, its poorly executed special effects and lack of anything approaching a decent script ruins what could have been something so much better.