Pompeii begins in Britannia 62 AD. A young Celtic boy named Milo (Dylan Schombing) wakes to the sounds of his village being attacked by Roman soldiers. Milo witnesses the Romans executing every man, woman and child in his village including his own parents. Milo pretends to be dead and escapes. A short time later he is discovered and captured by a band of slavers.Seventeen years later (79 AD), Milo ((Kit Harington) is a grown man and champion gladiator fighting for his life in the arenas of Britannia’s capital city, Londinium. Milo’s owner, a man named Graecus (Joe Pingue), decides that Milo is too good for Londinium’s arenas and should fight in the colosseum of Pompeii.Along the road to Pompeii, Milo unexpectedly meets Princess Cassia (Emily Browning), who is returning from a visit to Rome. A romantic spark ignites between the two when Milo comes to the aid of Cassia’s injured horse, putting it out of its misery. On reaching Pompeii, Milo is taken to the colosseum’s dungeons where a gladiator slave named Atticus (Adewale Akinnuoye-Adbaje) befriends him. Meanwhile Cassia goes to her family palace on the slope of Mount Vesuvius and is reunited with her father, Severus (Jared Harris), and mother, Aurelia (Carrie-Anne Moss). Soon after, a corrupt Roman senator named Corvus (Kiefer Sutherland) arrives on Cassia’s doorstep and manipulates events to force Cassia into marrying him. Cassia’s and Milo’s paths cross again unexpectedly and they become romantically involved, with dire consequences for them both.Things don’t go as planned for Corvus when Mount Vesuvius erupts violently and spews giant fireballs across Pompeii. This results in mass destruction to both the city and the colosseum. There is a race against time as Milo struggles against Roman soldiers and an erupting volcano to rescue Cassia from Corvus’s clutches and get her to safety.
Ancient Rome; rebellion; gladiatorial fighting; natural disasters; slavery
Pompeii has a lot of violence, an extremely high body count and medium-level blood and gore. It has intense battle sequences, combat violence with swords and axes, corporal punishment, massacres including mass executions, and apocalyptic natural disasters. Here are some examples:
Pompeii has a lot of violence, an extremely high body count and medium-level blood and gore. It has intense battle sequences, combat violence with swords and axes, corporal punishment, massacres including mass executions, and apocalyptic natural disasters.
Here are some examples:
Pompeii has occasional low-level sexual references and innuendo. For example:
- A man complains about being dragged away from a brothel to watch gladiators fight.
- A woman asks another woman if she saw a man’s muscles.
- At a party a middle-aged woman views several male slaves/gladiators on display. The woman tells the slavedriver that she wants to see them from behind and says that they are ‘firm’. The woman asks, ‘What of his weaponry?’ The slavedriver replies, ‘That’s an inspection you’ll have to pay for’.
- A man says to a woman, ‘I thought we had an understanding’. The woman replies that she is not the ‘type of woman who drapes herself across your lap’.
Alcohol, drugs and other substances
Pompeii shows some use of substances. For example:
- Someone refers to the city streets of Pompeii being blocked by drunkards.
- A couple of scenes show images of people holding goblets that presumably contain wine.
- In one scene a man pours wine over cuts on a man’s back.
Nudity and sexual activity
Pompeii has some nudity and sexual activity. For example:
- Muscle-bound gladiators with bare chests feature throughout the movie.
- A couple of scenes show images of women wearing period-appropriate low-cut tops that reveal their cleavage.
- At the end of the movie a man and women kiss passionately.
Pompeii has no product placement.
Pompeii has some low-level coarse language and some name-calling.
Ideas to discuss with your children
Pompeii is an epic movie featuring action, adventure, drama, romance and disaster.
The movie’s gladiator story, love story and volcano disaster story don’t hang together very well. The movie will attract the attention of older teenagers but it might struggle to hold adult attention. The acting performances are average at best, and the movie’s best feature is its 3D disaster special effects.
These are the main messages from Pompeii:
- Natural disasters treat everyone equally and no-one can escape their devastating effects.
- Fighting against tyrants and tyranny is worth risking your life and dying for.
Values in this movie that you could reinforce with your children include the following:
- Selflessness and courage: Milo risks both his life and his freedom to save Cassia from the destruction of Mount Vesuvius and rescue her from a Roman tyrant.
- Self-worth and dignity: Milo refuses to bow down to Roman tyranny and always maintains his belief in his own self-worth.
This movie could also give you the chance to talk with your children about real-life issues such as the direct and indirect effects of natural disasters. What would the consequences be on a global scale? Are all counties affected to the same extent by natural disasters? For example, would the same natural disaster affect a third-world country in the same way as a superpower? Would there be a difference in global impact?