Director: WS Anderson
Starring: Kit Harington, Emily Browning, Keifer Sutherland, Jared Harris
British director Paul WS Anderson (Resident Evil) embraces the hoary cliches of the disaster movie with this unintentionally amusing swords and sandals epic set in the shadow of a grumbling Mount Vesuvius.
A prologue set in Northern Britannia AD62 introduces a boy called Milo (Dylan Schombing), who witnesses the murder of his parents at the hands of corrupt Roman senator Corvus (Kiefer Sutherland) and sadistic henchman Proculus (Sasha Roiz).
Seventeen years later, Milo (now played by Kit Harington) has blossomed into a merciless killing machine in the gladiatorial arena.
He catches the eye of slave master Graecus (Joe Pingue), who seeks a worthy opponent for undefeated champion Atticus (Akinnuoye-Agbaje) at the forthcoming games in Pompeii.
Milo is dragged to the ill-fated city where his rock hard abs induce a lusty swoon in Cassia (Browning), the daughter of wealthy merchant Severus (Jared Harris) and his wife Aurelia (Carrie-Anne Moss).
Unfortunately, Corvus has his beady eye on Cassia.
As the games begin, Vesuvius erupts and Milo and Atticus use their physical prowess to escape with terrified Cassia in tow.
Action scenes are both thrilling and hilariously preposterous and the romantic subplot twixt Milo and Cassia falls woefully short of the sweeping tragedy of Titanic, to which Anderson evidently aspires.