I rarely go to the movies, but the lure of a 3D adventure in Pompeii as Vesuvius erupts in the background was almost too much for me to resist – add in Kiefer Sutherland (as a bad Roman Senator) and I had to buy a ticket!

Before we left for the theatre, I checked out the reviews and was disappointed to see it get mediocre reviews for being schmaltzy and typical. I’m really glad I tend to ignore the movie critics because I found the film to be an enjoyable ride.

I love all things Ancient Rome, archaeological, and good disaster movies. So Pompeii was right up my alley. The cinematography, special effects, and sets were spectacular. The story moved quickly and I liked the characters (Vesuvius being one of the star players! I knew the mountain wouldn’t let me down…) although the critics described the characters as “one dimensional” I thought they provided a nice backdrop to the main event – after all, it’s a movie about Pompeii when the volcano erupts – it’s hard to compete with that for dramatic appeal.

DON’T read the reviews by the “real” critics (one actually gives away the ending – and even though it wasn’t exactly a surprise for me, I still would have preferred to live in ignorance for the duration of the film). If you want to escape modern life for a few hours and want to watch some good gladiator battles, see the markets and homes in Ancient Pompeii, watch Kiefer Sutherland as a villain (he does it so well) and then watch a mountain explode – you could do worse. I thought it was well worth the price of the ticket – I was completely entertained for the duration of the movie.

If you’re really into Pompeii – National Geographic Channel just had a nice show on it (no doubt to celebrate the release of the movie) and there are tons of sites on line which do a good job of acquainting you with the story, archaeology, and geology.

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