In Paul Anderson’s version of the horrifying story of Pompeii, computer generated imaging (CPI) and 3D was utilized to create the depiction of the infamous Mount Vesuvius, as well as a tsunami. Even though critics have claimed that, “the biggest danger of this technology…is that it will fall into the hands of moneygrubbing hacks with the artistic sensibilities of gnats (Special Effects 2),” Anderson has shown this is not always the case.
In the movie clip I have provided, we get to see what could have occurred during the eruption of Vesuvius. Through CGI and sound effects we are able to actually experience the feeling and emotions of this disaster. It is amazing to watch this scene because with the special effects, fireballs, lava, huge clouds of smoke, and rushing water are perfected and realistically designed and placed. This truly creates more of a simulation that is not dull at all. One could believe that there is so much to the scene and it can be overwhelming; however, that is what the catastrophe of these events is supposed to be. There would be no other way to depict such an event. Without these special effects, the volcano and tsunami would not have been accurately depicted or scientifically correct.
In addition, the movie was also filmed to be in 3D, which I feel was a great decision to add to the effects. Just like special effects and CGI, 3D can have a bad reputation with critics and viewers. It has been known to give headaches and make viewers nauseous, while being expensive; it has the reputation of being “worthless.” But, I really did not have that experience when I saw the movie in theaters. I think because everything was happening so fast, and I was so intrigued with the fireballs that seemed to be coming for me, I didn’t have the time to get sick. However, I could understand that this movie could make other viewers sick, but again, this could not have been the same experience without the 3D.
Overall, I think these special effects enhanced the movie and made the apocalyptic events of Mount Vesuvius more believable. Sitting there, watching the movie the audience is able to feel that they are actually in the movie. Viewers are more inclined to enjoy a movie like this because there is no time for them to be distracted. The movie is so exciting and such a tragedy; you won’t want to miss anything. Therefore, I give Pompeii’s special effects a score of 3.