In a scene that could have been lifting from the original CONAN movie, all of Milo's Northern dwelling village is killed by invading soldiers. He's the only survivor and is taken into slavery. He sees the people responsible for killing his parents--and of course runs into them later on. The next time we see him he's a young adult--and fighting as a gladiator. In a parallel story we're introduced to a young upper class woman, Cassia (Emily Browning), who has returned home after spending an unpleasant year in Rome. Her parents don't like the politics of Rome but love their city of Pompeii. Eventually the two stories merge, when the Milo and Cassia see each other for the first time.
Although the special effects of the volcano Vesuvius exploding is impressive this is an insanely predictable Gladiator movie, from the main character (Kit Harington of GAME OF THRONES) to the enemy gladiator who becomes a friend (Mr Echo from LOST), to the forbidden love and evil Roman soldiers. In fact, Keifer Sutherland's performance as Soldier/Politician Corvus is cringeworthy.