Summer was made for a movie like this
For action fans like me, this film is a great treat. It has everything we could want in terms of story, direction and excellent acting from a cast that includes plenty of famous names. And there is a chase scene at the end that is beyond spectacular. For once, the director spent his enormous special effects budget on creating thrills rather than simply wrecking the highest possible number of cars or creating the grandest possible explosions. For pure scariness there is nothing like a 20-minute high-speed motorcycle ride through Manila with everybody in the world chasing you.
Director Tony Gilroy has in a way brought his own vision to the screen. He wrote the script with his brother Dan — who also wrote last year’s fighting robot epic “Real Steel.” Brother Tony directed the very well received “Michael Clayton” and the entertaining if not spectacular “Duplicity.” But Tony also wrote all three of the previous Bourne films. This one picks up the story line a couple of weeks after the end of the last Bourne film, but with a new agent/victim and a different but parallel program.
The bad guys once again are overly ambitious members of the U.S. intelligence community. There are lots of real bad guys out in the real world, but Hollywood always seems to prefer imaginary American bad guys. If our intelligence community really had the fantastic capabilities to find and track illusive targets that are depicted in the movie, there would be no problems with bad actors anywhere. Imaginary or not, it is fun to watch the high-tech geeks electronically chase the almost super hero status rogue agent. Cool, fast and fun I say.
In case there is someone out in movie-land who hasn’t gotten the word, Jeremy Renner is a full-blown movie star and an action hero of the first rank. We have seen him enough lately to know the guy can act, but “Legacy” proves that he can carry a top-of-the-line, major Hollywood production. Edward Norton has his usual intensity dialed back to mere total dedication to his job, finding the perfect pitch for his character. Albert Finney, Scott Glen and Stacy Keach are included in the famous supporting players. All of them turn in top-notch performances. Rachel Weisz plays the brave, game, terrified scientist who gets swept up in the vile machinery of a high-level science-intelligence project that has gone very wrong indeed.
We must give special snaps to cinematographer Robert Elswit and film editor John Gilroy. Between the two of them, they film and patch together one of the most exciting chases since “Bullitt.”
This four saw blade action flick runs 2 hours and 15 minutes. It will be big enough to justify its $125 million budget and still turn a huge profit for all involved. People will love this movie. It is rated PG-13 for scads of violence but no naked people.
Summer was invented so we could watch summer blockbusters like this in air-conditioned comfort.
TOP TEN MOVIES
The Expendables 2 (R) Sylvester Stallone, Arnold Schwarzenegger
The Bourne Legacy (PG-13) Jeremy Renner, Rachel Weisz
ParaNorman (PG) animated
The Campaign (R) Will Ferrell, Zach Galifianakis
Sparkle (PG-13) Whitney Houston, Jordin Sparks
The Dark Knight Rises (PG-13) Christian Bale, Michael Caine
The Odd Life of Timothy Green (PG) Jennifer Garner, Joel Edgerton
Hope Springs (PG-13) Meryl Streep, Tommy Lee Jones
Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Dog Days (PG) Zachary Gordon, Robert Capron
Total Recall (PG-13) Colin Farrell, Bokeem Woodbine
© 2012 King Features Synd., Inc.
Not really a ‘Bourne’ movie, but worth seeing
The question everyone must ask is, “Is a Bourne movie really a Bourne movie without Matt Damon?”
Jeremy Renner stars in this new action flick, as Aaron Cross. The audience is first introduced to Aaron in a remote Alaskan landscape jumping into a freezing pool. It soon becomes clear that he is part of some sort of specialized training when he finds another member of his group living in an isolated cabin.
The scenes change and we see a meeting with several people discussing Jason Bourne and the problems he has recently caused. It mentions the events occurring in “The Bourne Ultimatum” including the assassination of reporter Simon Ross, and Pamela Landy, the CIA operative who exposes the CIA black-ops. The effect of this is that these people decide to eliminate all their programs.
We see the death of several assassins in programs such as Treadstone and Blackbriar, and then the murder of several doctors working in a lab analyzing the medical conditions of the assassins in the programs.
The failure of their plan is that Aaron Cross survives. He secretly returns to the United States in search of someone who can help him receive a necessary medication, and finds a surviving doctor from the lab.
“The Bourne Legacy” is a fun, new action flick. Jeremy Renner is an up and coming name as far as action films go, and he has done a very good job here. Supporting actress Rachel Weisz (as Dr. Marta Shearing) was good, but still left a bit of something to be desired. She just didn’t seem like the biochemist she was portraying.
The special effects were enjoyable. The traditional action movie chase scene was still there, and so was the action.
As far as comparisons to the previous Bourne movies go, “The Bourne Legacy” is much different. Jason Bourne seemed to be more independent and intelligent. The character of Aaron Cross is just not the same. He is lacking in areas of secretive international travel for instance. His story is also less complex and therefore not quite as interesting. Aaron Cross possesses less of what really makes Jason Bourne be Jason Bourne.
In answer to my previous question, no, this is really not a Bourne movie. My best guess is that in an attempt to make a big name for himself, Renner has piggybacked onto a mainstream action series. “The Bourne Legacy” is still very good and well worth seeing, but don’t go expecting to see the best of Matt Damon, because there you will be disappointed.