Monday, August 13, 2012

The Bourne Legacy - Movie Review

Starring Jeremy Renner, Rachel Weisz, Edward Norton, Stacy Keach, Dennis Boutsikaris, Oscar Isaac, Donna Murphy, Zjelko Ivanek, David Strathairn, Scott Glenn, Joan Allen and Albert Finney.  Directed by Tony Gilroy.


At its worst, it comes off as fan fiction of the Bourne universe, with side characters and a side project that is linked but in a way that we don't need to actually see Jason Bourne.  Picture a Star Wars movie that takes place between Empire and Jedi with just the bounty hunters and maybe a Darth Vader cameo.

But if you ignore all the explanations and rehashes and spelling-out the villains do about Bourne and Treadstone and so forth, you have a good chase thriller with Renner as Aaron Cross, a guy in the program who has his memory and has a bit of a sense of humor about himself.  But when his handlers try to kill him, well, this will not do.

I enjoyed it, and yet, it did feel like a hammock movie.  Norton and Keach and Murphy and Boutsakiris are the technocrats who spend the second half of the movie looking at monitors and reminding us of the stakes, the plot points, what this means, Bourne, Treadstone, motivations, implications... Hey, he's on the move!

I think the point was to show an agent who wanted to do the program, who liked it, who didn't have a memory lapse, but who was going to go Flowers for Algernon unless he flew to the Philippines and got the virus.

I liked the Alaska stuff, I liked the lab shoot-out, I liked the showdown in the house that eventually burned down.  The Philippines stuff got long, and the ending was a fizzle, but it seemed it was really just setting up Cross and Bourne to team up for Part 5.

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