What a difference a “W.S.” makes. From the sublimely gifted to the ridiculously not-so, Andersons Paul Thomas and Paul W.S. share little beyond twinned SEO credentials (fortuitous for W.S., less so for Thomas) and the memory of being picked on at the top of the school register. Having last delivered us the aptly masterful “The Master,
” and “Resident Evil: Retribution
” (retribution, presumably, for its unwitting audience) respectively, news of a forthcoming Anderson picture could spell delight or “dear God, no” for film fans. Regrettably, this story concerns the latter, lesser, Anderson.
Paul W.S. Anderson has, in all fairness, to be congratulated on his upcoming release “Pompeii,” which will be neither derived from a video game, nor constitute a garbled, multi-part, colon-oriented title. Instead, the film is set in Pompeii, 79A.D., and tells the story of slave Milo (to be played by Kit Harington) who is in love with his master's daughter (Browning), but is sold to another owner. But when Vesuvius erupts, he makes his way back to the city to rescue his love, and his best friend, a gladiator, who is trapped in the coliseum.
The film is written by Lee Batchler and Janet Scott Batchler, alongside “Downton Abbey” creator Julian Fellowes, which is better than average collaborators for W.S. It’s all very “Gladiator," but we aren’t sure we’ll be all that entertained. [Dark Horizons]