|Title:||The Bourne Legacy|
Other Movies Seen By This Director (1)
- Michael Clayton
|08.10.12||Galaxy Flix Brewhouse|| I skipped out work early to meet Jarrette for this since the Brewhouse is right down the street from my job and I haven't seen him in forever. The brewhouse is actually pretty nice. The menu seems like a complete Drafthouse knock-off but the wait staff didn't ruin my experience and the seats were comfortable.|
I like the Bourne trilogy. I like the first one the best, which I guess I'm in the minority on but whatever. I like to think of that trilogy as an example of a smarter, more savvy contemprary action film that doesn't really pander. I had really no idea what to expect from this except that it would probably not be that good.
So... I ended up liking how they treated it as a straight sequel rather than a reboot or retelling or any other word that means start over from the beginning. I'm happy Total Recall is bombing. Movies continue to exist after they leave theaters. I remember The Bourne Identity and don't need to see it again like some play revival. I also like how they set this one during the events of the third movie, so not only is it a sequel but they also firmly root this in the context of the Matt Damon movies. Thirdly, I really like how Jeremy Renner doesn't play Jason Bourne. They even trotted out a lot of the previous actors for cameos or re-purposed footage to layer in all this context. All these things kind of got me excited and invested during the first act.
However, the amount of heavy lifting that they go through to establish Renner as someone we care about following and explain how he ends up in the middle of things is pretty laborious and takes way too long. Because of that, it feels like the movie proper starts like an hour into the running time and should end about an hour after the movie's over. The end is only an ending in the technical sense that credits start rolling and everybody walked out of the theater, but nothing's really resolved or concluded or denoument'd. It feels like a typical middle-of-the-movie chase scene ends but instead of switching gears into the third act, Moby's too-old song kicks in and the lights came on.
So there's some real structural and pacing issues there that made me feel weird. There's also some... quite honestly laughable plot turns that I found idiotic. This involves spoilers so stop reading if you care.
The main driving force behind Renner's character is that he needs these meds (excuse me, "chems") because without them, he'll lose his super intelligence. Yes, he's afraid of becoming an idiot. His character, before being recruited, was dumb as a post and so he knows he won't survive if he goes back to that. What's crazy is that he plays a few beats like the stupidity is starting to kick in, but it's like in the middle of a chase. He starts to zone out (i guess like how idiots do) and has problems focusing. I found that whole idea hilarious. Ed Norton even says at one point "He's got 4 hours left until he loses his brain." Huh? I wish they would've gone further with it and have him start making poor decisions, like telling them to go through this door except instead of an exit it's a broom closet, or start calling Rachel Weisz by her wrong name or something. Start drinking Coors Light, getting caught up in televisions or something. Having trouble tying his shoes. That would have been great.
At another point, one of the government techs asks Ed Norton (who fills the Chris Cooper/Joan Allen role of Guy-who-spends-entire-movie-in-a-room-telling-people-to-show-him-stuff) about the other top secret assassin program they have up and running called "Larx 13." Aside from the requisite shock from higher eschalon intelligence officers about the program's existence, the tech's computer monitor just has a giant "LARX 13" on his screen in like 140-point type. Like it flashed on his screen like that and he said "oh yeah!" or even worse, he thought "hey what about that other program... let me bring up my notes" and it was just this giant text screaming at him. I guess it's a tiny detail to nitpick but I found whatever scenario that would lead to this top-secret title being typed as large as possible on this guy's screen to be hilarious.
So... I guess not a terrible movie but compromised for me by several fairly big problems and a handful of ridiculous moments. Eh.