TriStar Pictures via Everett Collection
An hour and change into Pompeii, there's a volcano. You'd think there might have been a volcano throughout — you'd think that the folks inhabiting the ill-fated Italian village would have been dealing with the infamous volcano for the full 110 minutes. After all, volcano movies have worked before. Volcano, for instance. And the other one. But for some reason, Pompeii feels the need to stuff its first three quarters with coliseum battles, Ancient Rome politics, unlikely friendships, and a love story. But we don’t care. We can't care. None of it warrants our care. Where the hell is the volcano, already?
To answer that: it's off to the side — rumbling. Smoking. Occasionally spiking the neighboring community with geological fissures or architectural misgivings. Pretty much executing every trick picked up in Ominous Foreshadowing 101, but never joining the story. Not until Paul W.S. Anderson shouts, "Last call," hitting us with a final 20-odd minutes of unmitigated disaster (in a good way). If you've managed to maintain a waking pulse throughout the lecture in sawdust that is Pompeii's story, then you might actually have a good time with the closing sequence. It has everything you’d expect — everything you had been expecting! — and delivers it with gusto. Torpedoes of smoke running hordes of idiot villagers out of their homes and toward whatever safety the notion of forward has to offer. Long undeveloped characters rising to the occasion to rescue hapless princesses who thought it might be a good idea to set their vacation homes at the foot of a lava-spewing mountain. The whole ordeal is actually a lot of laughs. But it amounts to a dessert just barely worth the tasteless dinner we had to force down to get there.
TriStar Pictures via Everett Collection
To get through the bulk of Pompeii, we recommend focusing all your attentions away from the effectively bland slave/gladiator/hero Kit Harington — sorry, Jon Snow (he's actually called a bastard at one point) — and onto his partner in crime: a scowling Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje — sorry, Mr. Eko (he and Snow actually trade valedictions by saying "I'll see you at another time, brother" at one point) — who warms up to his fellow prize fighter during their shared time in the klink, and delivers his moronic material with a sprinkle of flair. Keeping the working man down is Kiefer Sutherland — sorry, Jack Bauer — as an ostentatious Roman senator, doling out vainglory in Basil Fawlty-sized portions. When he's not spitting scowls at peasants, ol' JB is undermining the efforts of an earnest local governor Jared Harris — sorry, Lane Pryce (he actually calls someone a mad man at one point) — and his wife Carrie-Anne Moss — sorry, Katherine O'Connell from Vegas (joking! Trinity) — and finagling the douchiest marriage proposal ever toward their daughter Emily Browning — sorry, but I have no idea what she's from.
But questionable television references and some enjoyably daft performances by Eko and Jack can't really make up for the heft of mindless dullness that Pompeii passes off as its narrative... until the big showstopper.
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In truth, the last sequence is a gem. It's fun, inviting, and energizing, and might even call into question the possibility that Pompeii is all about how futile life, love, friendship, politics, and pride are when even the most egregiously complicated of plots can be taken out in the end by a sudden volcanic eruption. But you have to wade through that egregious complication to get there, and you shouldn't expect to have too much of a good time doing so.
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The 60 year old shocked fans earlier this month (Aug12) when he decided not to renew his contract on the show, and he has now opened up about his decision to leave, insisting a series of strange happenings urged him to seek a "rebirth".
In an interview with showbiz publication EW.com, Moss explains that a recent car accident with his wife Devin DeVasquez literally turned his life around: "I was stopped, completely stopped, in rush hour traffic, and somebody hit us so hard that it spun us around, took out a light post, took out everything around us, destroyed the brand new truck that we had just gotten, which probably saved our lives... And this told me: 'You're not going this direction, you're going this direction'..."
But it was the latest bizarre occurrence which convinced Moss it was time to do something different with his life.
He reveals he was preparing to film his final appearance for The Bold and The Beautiful last Tuesday (14Aug12) when he looked up at the clock in his dressing room and realised it had stopped at 9.42am - the same time he was born.
He says, "I was born 9.42am on a Tuesday. I'd been thinking this whole time, this is a rebirth for me, this is the moment I'm being born into a new aspect of my life... For that little symbolism, it was not lost. It can't be lost! I have to pay attention to it. You can call it whatever you want - ethereal, a bunch of esoteric hoopla, whatever you want - but I know the signs and the pattern that they have set up and what to be aware of."
Moss' last episode will air in the U.S. next month (Sep12).
The Bold & the Beautiful star staged a fairytale ceremony at sunset on 25 September (09) for his bride.
Guests were asked to keep the happy news under wraps until the couple had had a chance to honeymoon.
DeVasquez arrived at the nuptials in a horse-drawn carriage and guitarist Moss paid tribute to his bride by performing the theme to Romeo & Juliet with actress Nadia Bjorlin.
The couple was married by stuntman Wally Crowder, who is an ordained minister.
Actress/model Cindy Margolis, Barbara Moore, Tina Hillstrom and Moss' daughters Creason and Calee were bridesmaids, while actor Lorenzo Lamas was the groom's best man., Ronn's castmate Winsor Harmon, Leigh McCloskey and Dr. Brad Hillstrom were groomsmen.