Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Bourne Legacy aka What's up with Edward Norton's hair?

Unfortunately there isn’t much motivation for me to write this review.  Sometimes I see a movie and I can’t wait to get home and put my thoughts on paper.  And I’m not talking about the great ones.  I can’t wait to write about the bad ones too.  Bourne Legacy (heretofore Bourne 4) was neither, which is why it took me so long to sit down and write something.

Bourne 4 was good but it didn’t have that thing the other Bourne movies had.  Ok, yes, it didn’t have Matt Damon and, as much as I love Jeremy Renner (it’s a lot, btw), I think the lack of Jason Bourne was a problem.  Damon’s Bourne was confused and lost and determined to figure out who he is and why so many people are shooting at him.  Then he just wanted it all to end and we the audience kept thinking, “Why don’t they just leave him alone?”  Bourne Legacy begins during the events of the third film, Bourne Ultimatum.  We get to see the cleanup happening while Jason is in NYC trying to expose the CIA for Treadstone and Blackbriar and whatever else they've been up to.  While all that’s going on, Edward Norton’s character, Eric Byer (an ex-USAF Colonel to whom the CIA is inexplicably accountable), is scrambling to end the various programs in operation in case someone starts to ask about the trail of dead left by Jason Bourne and the CIA.  Operatives from Outcome, the black ops program after Bourne’s Treadstone, are slowly being picked off one by one.  The problem is that they miss one and, obviously, it's Aaron Cross.  So Cross spends the rest of the film trying to not get blown up and get to the meds to keep him stable.  I’m guessing these meds help keep the headaches Bourne had away. 

My friend Charlene liked his greying hair.  I was confused by both the color and style of it.
The inevitable comparisons must be made.  A difference between Cross and Bourne (but not Renner and Damon) is that Cross was pretty pissy all the time.  Bourne was confused first and then pissy later, which gave us someone to care about and root for.  Cross starts out pissy and stays there so it’s hard to cheer for a guy whose sole motivation is to get drugs   Bourne was just as impressed as we were at his physical and mental abilities.  We meet Cross at the peak of his abilities.  He’s able-bodied (yeah he is!) and great at reading people (even other operatives) and situations.  But who will he be without his meds (or chems as they’re called in the movie)?  Well he’s not willing to find out so he kidnaps a lovely scientist played by Rachel Weisz.  Of all the beautiful women who have played scientists in movies, I think she’s one of the most believable. 

As far as the film goes it was fine.  The acting was solid due to a solid cast.  Corey Stoll (call me!), who played Hemingway in Midnight in Paris, was there in a supporting role.  He’s another one I keep hoping will have a bigger career.  It looks like it’ll happen for Renner so I’m keeping my fingers crossed for Stoll too.  Joan Allen (who should work more) and David Strathairn show up to link us more directly to the Bourne films.  The action was good and lots of people get beat up.  My usual complaint applies with this movie too.  It was shot too tight and with a hand-held camera, which made me happy to be in the back of the theater. Other than that, director Tony Gilroy (who was the screenwriter for the first three) did a fine job.

So go see it or don’t.  It’s not at all a bad film but it’s not something anyone needs to rush out and see.  I’m just hoping it does well enough that they let Renner do a Hawkeye movie.

Dude! I almost forgot.  There's this whole thing with a wolf that was TOTALLY unnecessary.  I don't want to spoil it for anyone who goes to see Bourne 4 but it was really not needed.  They could have totally handled Cross and his situation differently and not involved wolves.  I guess they were trying to prove what a stud he is but it totally rubbed me (and the wolf) the wrong way.  But aside from that it was ok.

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