Plane Ride Movie Review: Pompeii & Bourne Legacy

When I have long flights overseas I take the opportunity to watch a movie or two that I missed in the movie theater. The movies I choose to watch in these circumstances are usually ones that have one or more of the following qualities:

  1. Don't hold much promise as something worth sharing with my wife.
  2. I don't have enough familiarity with to know their ratings beforehand.
  3. May not require a large screen & surround sound to enjoy. 

Looking through the selection on my flight, I saw Pompeii - a movie I had never heard of before but looked very recent and had faces I recognized: Jon Snow, Kiefer Sutherland, Trinity, the British guy from Mad Men, the target from Bourne Identity, that girl from Suckerpunch, and a bunch of others. "Why the hell not?" was my prevailing thought as I selected this movie. 

 You know nothing, Jon Snow. Eruption is coming. 

You know nothing, Jon Snow. Eruption is coming. 

Let me tell you right now to not waste your time. I can imagine how the pitch went. "It's Titanic meets Gladiator, but we'll get that cute guy from Game of Thrones!"  

It's pretty much what they did, except that it was horrible. Jon Snow's impressive abs nor Babydoll's big eyes could not save this crappy movie. I got about 1/3 of the way through and I couldn't take it anymore. No character development whatsoever, crappy script, disjointed storytelling... I found myself not caring for any of them. Even though I was somewhat curious to see how they would actually treat the volcanic eruption itself, I couldn't do it.

I would be charitable giving this 2/5 stars

So the next one I tried was The Bourne Legacy. I remember hearing mixed things about it, but I had really enjoyed the Bourne Trilogy with Matt Damon and thought Jeremy Renner was a good actor, so I gave that a shot. I kept my hopes low, though, after the disaster of Pompeii. Get it? Disaster? Pompeii? Never mind.  

 That's the world-famous Filipino Jeepney in the background.

That's the world-famous Filipino Jeepney in the background.

I was honestly surprised that I watched it all the way through. I thought they did a decent job of integrating this character into the Bourne storyline without it being completely hackneyed, and I really liked how they explained the main character's motivation. No spoilers here in case you want to check it out.

Another thing I enjoyed was that the last third of the movie was set in the Philippines with Filipino actors. And they actually spoke Tagalog, which is rare in big, international blockbusters. 

Overall the action was decent and it had a bunch of those very clever he's-such-a-smart-trained-killer moments that the series is known for. Of course it had a crazy car/motorcycle chase in a crowded city which seems to be required in any non-superhero or non-sci-fi action movie these days. 

If you were a fan of the series, I think it's worth a rental. 3/5 stars, but they're not nearly as good as Matt Damon's trilogy. 

My jetlag, on the other hand, is getting 1/5 stars this time. I can't wait for dinnertime so I can eat, take some Melatonin, and get some sleep.