Monday, September 17, 2012

The Bourne Legacy? No, The Bourne Miscalculation

Once director Paul Greengrass and therefore Matt Damon stepped away from this otherwise brilliant franchise which had a rare consistency of excellence from the first to the third movie, my serious interest waned. It picked up slightly when I discovered the usually splendid [if not tad too over-exposed right now] Jeremy Renner would be stepping forward not as Jason Bourne, but as Aaron Cross another “creation” of the secret government project that created Bourne. Pair him with a cast including fellow Oscar-worthy actors Rachel Weisz and Edward Norton and this just might be something to see.

Sadly no. This was a failure. While I felt the action scenes were somewhat adequate, well timed and choreographed and I was pleased by the level of automatic gunfire and loud noises; I felt overall that the movie was devoid of the tension and suspense that made the previous entries in the franchise what they were. Performances from the aforementioned Oscar-class cast were ho-hum at best for which I lay the blame firmly at the feet of director Tony Gilroy who proved he should really just stick to writing as he's damn good at that instead. 

Gilroy probably had a greater understanding of the whole somewhat meandering plot of the series since he actually wrote everything! Sadly he just wasn't able to coherently let the rest of us mortals watching know just what the hell he was trying to do. The plot device that this was a different perspective on some of the same events, a greater clandestine level behind the scenes of the already clandestine world created in the original trilogy was utter shit. It was so convoluted that it lacked the cohesion to be entertaining when the action started and at that point vanished up it’s own arse.

At some point along the way I think they knew they had actually lost their way and it seemed like an afterthought to add certain elements of the previous trilogy including mentioning Jason Bourne and showing photographs of Matt Damon to “remind” people what they were watching. Some movies do this in an effortless way that makes perfect sense, but this movie was hitting you over the head with them as if to say – “but look here is what happened then, only now it’s now, do you see what we’re trying to do?” – yes I could eventually I guess but at that point I was beyond caring. I woke up when the flaccid and unconvincing “evil super-agent” introduced only 20 minutes before the ending died wonderfully ridiculously along with my enthusiasm for more of this.

Final Verdict: Avoid it, watch the other three instead for proper entertainment – THAT’s Bourne’s legacy, not this nonsense.

 Colonel Creedon rating: **

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