Who's in it?
Emily Browning, Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje, Kit Harington and Kiefer Sutherland
What's it about?
When Senator Corvus (Kiefer Sutherland) attacks and kills The Celt's (Kit Harington) entire tribe of horse-riding Celts, he plays dead until he is found and sold into slavery as a young child. When a Pompeian slave-owner finds out he's the quickest gladiator in Britannia, he drags him back to Pompeii to challenge his champion. While on the way, Noble lady Cassia's horse falls and is injured, and when The Celt snaps it's neck... Cassia is smitten.
It is clear what the film-makers were aiming for here - a new Gladiator with all the best parts from disaster movies like 2012 thrown in. Instead what they got was a monstrosity of Twilight-esque romance and acting thrown together with the worst aspects of 2012 itself.
Nothing happens for at least 70% of this movie. That's the honest to god truth, for more than three quarters of the movie it's just people swinging tinfoil swords three feet away from each other expecting us to believe that they have been killed without bloodshed or injuries of any description. The best example of this was a man is on his knees and slashed across the cheek with a sword, only to turn that same cheek to the camera moments later to find it immaculate and untouched.
Better love story AND acting than Pompeii
The acting was atrocious, now as a Game of Thrones fan I don't find Kit Harington to be anything special per-say, but in this he barely talks and when he does it's worse than Hayden Christensen in the second Star Wars prequel. Even then it's not like anyone else is remotely enjoyable to watch, Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje is so wooden he made me want to just leaf (heh) when he opened his mouth, and Emily Browning just pulled a bunch of 'oh nuuuu' faces and did the stereotypical 'I'll take the bullet' line delivery terribly. Even Kiefer Sutherland was so cheesy he blew his Lost Boys performance out of the water with his constant blue steel face EVERY TIME someone addressed him; even when he was evil he was just so cheesy!
This is one of the worst movies I've ever seen. It had no redeeming factors for me but I at least stayed to see if I was right every time I guessed what was next (spoilers - I always was). With the atrocious acting and action segments lumped together with the worst romance I've ever seen on film and the infamous 2012 cracking-ground-chasing-a-person scene every time the earth shook it just can't even be enjoyed as a laughably bad movie like The Room can be. Don't waste your money in any way on this, even if you can see it for free I'd give it a miss, it's not worth the overly long run time in any way.
It gets my first (and hopefully last) cherrybomb.