A kinetic, savvy but essentially one-joke shoot-’em-up, Tamae Garateguy’s “Pompeya ” lampoons the Tarantino-inspired subgenre of indie films by imagining three screenwriters penning a movie that magically appears onscreen: Need Asian mobsters? There they are. Busty gun-molls? Boom. A sympathetic deaf-mute brother to humanize your cut-throat protagonist? Voila. But it’s hard getting absorbed in a story that’s changing moment to moment, and whose very artifice is so prominent a factor in the movie overall.
Named for a barrio in Buenos Aires, “Pompeya” begins with a movie within a movie — or is it the other way around? A violent street fight ends in stabbings and bloodshed, but then the movie heads indoors, where the three writers are cooking up a convoluted thriller involving Russian mobsters, Korean gangsters, prostitutes, torture porn and a nagging wife or two, complaining why their torturer husband doesn’t help out more around the house. With each transition from supposed real life to the movie in their minds, the writers add more adornments to an already baroque storyline. Helmer Garateguy and her co-writer, Diego Fleischer, are very witty, but their ambitious concept never finds a groove.