“Pompeii” – Another Disastrous Volcano Movie

The next of my posts about movies which I studied for my article “Disaster Narratives by Design: Is Japan Different?” is about Pompeii (Paul W.S. Anderson, 2014). It is another of the disaster movies featuring volcanoes in my study – alongside Dante’s Peak, Volcano and When Time Ran Out...

A summary on IMDb for Pompeii is as follows.

Set in 79 A.D., Pompeii tells the epic story of Milo (Kit Harington), a slave turned invincible gladiator who finds himself in a race against time to save his true love Cassia (Emily Browning), the beautiful daughter of a wealthy merchant who has been unwillingly betrothed to a corrupt Roman Senator. As Mount Vesuvius erupts in a torrent of blazing lava, Milo must fight his way out of the arena in order to save his beloved as the once magnificent Pompeii crumbles around him.


None of the other volcano-centric disaster movies have particularly good ratings on IMDb, so my expectations were not high after I tracked down Pompeii. Sadly I wasn’t to be pleasantly surprised. But the main reason for watching was for my research, so I had to watch it and re-watch it as I double-checked to see what conventions were contained within, as well as look for out for potential new conventions. In the end, in terms of the revised list of conventions that I developed as part of my article “Disaster Narratives by Design: Is Japan Different?“, the movie scored a 11 out of the 17. Overall it was yet another disaster movie that compromised storyline for the sake of showing off special effects – an issue that I have discussed in other posts.

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