We open with evil Roman soldiers slaughtering the Celtic Horse tribes. With the commander of the Roman soldiers ordering his forces to “kill them all”. But one boy survives seeing his father killed, and his mother killed, and his whole family killed. He is taken as a slave, and when next we see him he is a gladiator in London. He is known as “The Celt”, we’re told.1
But he is too good for the provinces and gets shipped off to Pompeii. While being marched along the dusty road he encounters the beautiful Cassia when her carriage hits a pot-hole and one of her horses is thrown to the ground. He goes to help the horse. Afterall he was once a member of the horse tribe, remember.2 The horse is beyond saving, so he snaps its neck.
Yeah, lets just leave that one there shall we.
Still, it impresses Cassia.And when The Celt gets to Pompeii he discovers that the evil Romans are there! The very man who killed his father is there, riding around in a purple cape, and never moving his upper lip, and speaking with a posh English accent! It’s Keifer Sutherland. So yeah, there’s that.
And then a bunch of ridiculous stuff happens including more horse whispering, evil leches looking to marry Cassia, development plans for Pompeii and gladiators telling each other “I’ll kill you” “no I’ll kill you”. It is all very… well, actiony.
Look, if you’ve seen the trailer you know what this film is. It is pure spectacle. That’s it. Look at the fighting! Look at the volcano! Look at the people dying! If you go expecting that you’ll get some measure of entertainment.
Look for a story that makes sense and you’ll be disappointed. Actually, if you look for sense at all you’ll be disappointed.
To be honest, if the cinema near me was showing anything else I hadn’t seen, or if Captain America in 2D had been on in the middle of the day I wouldn’t have watched this, but I knew going in what it was going to be, so I won’t complain. I’ll just glory in the ridiculousness of it all.