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Apocalypse Pompeii (2014)

Apocalypse Pompeii (2014)

Here's a crappy movie for a change. A B-movie with few redeeming qualities, despite a not totally bad cast.

It came out the same year as Pompeii, and has a title to match and cash-in on the former, which is apparently a common tactic for the studio in charge of the movie. It does feature at least one known actor: John Rhys-Davies, though the main cast is relatively unknown, played by Adrian Paul, Georgina Beedle (the daughter) and Jhey Castles (the wife).

They're alright, but not even John Rhys-Davies seems to get into the mood of the movie. Maybe it was rushed, but I get the impression it was just bad, and no one really went out of their way to make an effort.

The story? Mount Vesuvius erupts when a family visits Pompeii. The daughter uses her skill and her father his ability, in order to escape the disaster. It's as cliche as it gets, and most of the movie's spent hiding, or waiting, or watching the eruption from afar. The characters do showcase fear decently, though it seems they're not always looking directly at the source of it. We get to see mixed footage of real volcanoes, and CGI, and it's sometimes a pretty bad contrast.

The biggest drawback however is the lack of action. As the husband rushes to reach his family there are plenty of opportunities, but nothing really happens. He speaks with an officer at a roadblock. He joins up with a few recruits, and an old friend, and eventually steals a helicopter - but even then the chase that follows is a disappointment.

I'm mildly amused by the crappy directing, and scripting, but time moves slowly and the danger is never close enough. It's one long wait: for the family, and for the viewer, and when it's all over it all feels kind of pointless.

The CGI seemed like it might redeem itself over and over, but never really did; nor did the actors. In the end it's all over. They're happy it's over. I'm happy it's over.

I've seen similar B-movie releases meant to cash-in on mainstream movies before, like the San Andreas Quake that came out along with San Andreas in 2015, but usually they spin off the original in interesting ways, and at least provide some comedy value. This one did give a brief history lesson and tour of Pompeii in its introductory segment, but after that it goes downhill fast. All that lava, and ash, and mud, and no sense of urgency... so much potential wasted on bad CGI and a straight of wait.

 rated 1/5: shit shit shit


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