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‘Pompeii’

by Giovanni Fazio

Perhaps it’s a mistake to expect anything more from Paul W.S. Anderson — the director of the never-ending “Resident Evil” series and generic fare such as “Alien vs. Predator” — but I was hoping for something more than a shameless rip-off of “Gladiator” with a volcanic eruption tacked onto the end.

Kit Harington (who plays Jon Snow in”Game of Thrones”) shows off his abdominals as Milo, a slave-turned-gladiator taken from the provinces to fight in Pompeii. There he falls for Cassia (Emily Browning), the daughter of a wealthy merchant (Jared Harris), who is resisting the advances of slimy Roman senator Severus (Kiefer Sutherland — again proving that Jack Bauer, from “24,” is the only role he can play convincingly).

Milo leads a revolt with fellow gladiator Atticus (Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje), which unsurprisingly coincides with the eruption of Mount Vesuvius. Anderson has fun launching 3-D fireballs at the audience, but the familiar plot and wooden dialogue will make your brain hurt.

For a chance to win one of three Mount Vesuvius “Pompeii” tissue boxes, visit http://jtimes.jp/film.