Pompeii is the story of the destruction of the city of Pompeii in 79 A.D. due to the eruption of mount Vesuvius. It is also a love story between a gladiator and a beautiful woman belonging to the Roman aristocracy.
Cassia is the daughter of a rich merchant and is to be married against her will to a corrupt Roman Senator. She crosses paths with Milo, a Celtic slave from Britannia turned gladiator and falls in love with him. Mount Vesuvius erupts and Milo who is stuck in the arena tries to save his beloved Cassia as Pompeii is getting destroyed by the eruption.
Even though the actors are not well-known, the movie is quite entertaining and surprisingly quite accurate. Actually it is based on the accounts of Pliny the Younger, a Roman magistrate who witnessed in person the eruption of Mount Vesuvius in 79 A.D.. The eruption in the movie is itself quite realistic as it is based on footage from other eruptions around the world. The producers made great efforts to have an eruption that looks as realistic as possible on screen.
The special effects in the movie are excellent. Viewers get to see the city of Pompeii as it was before and after the eruption (we recommend you watch this movie first if you ever plan a visit to Pompeii). There are beautiful shots of Roman life and activity in first century Pompeii. You can almost watch the movie as if it were a documentary. It is worth noting that the construction of the city in the movie is based on the actual ruins of the city. Here again, efforts were made in order to respect the layout of the city and bring it back to life thanks to amazing computer generated images. The movie is also available in 3D and was actually marketed as "Pompeii in 3D".
The only inaccuracies in the movie are the two characters, Cassia and Milo, who actually never existed. Not to say though that there were not love stories in Pompeii and stories of people being separated (or united) forever by the eruption. Other inacuracy: women in the 1st century would not have been seen walking alone in town or wearing revealing clothes.
Overall, Pompeii is an entertaining movie to watch and we truly appreciate the accuracy of the movie when it comes to the depiction of the city of Pompeii and the amazing special effects. The great thing about recent ancient Rome movies is the use of computer generated images something that just did not exist back in the 1960s when peplum movies were very popular.