Sunday, August 12, 2012

The Bourne Legacy: A Movie Review - And Other Sidetrack Comments

All to be honest, I had no real desire to watch the film. Matt Damon is out, and I've always felt that no one can make a Bourne movie without Jason Bourne. And, this film, Jason Bourne is never seen, besides in photographs. But by all means, doesn't mean his presence isn't felt. In more than one reference, did characters widely talked about what he's been up to. And whatever he's been up to, it's causing a lot of problems for a lot of people. So technically, this is still about Jason Bourne, but this one shows the effects of what he's been doing. (Someone whispered to me that this happened all sometime in The Bourne Ultimatum, I don't really remember it.)

What compelled me to watch the film was having Manila, Philippines, in it. Not as Thailand, like in Brokedown Palace, not as a Vietnam war zone in Apocalypse Now, not as Jakarta in The Year of Living Dangerously, but Manila itself. It was pretty exciting to say at least, how the country would be portrayed in the film. And pretty much a lot of it were, alright. Traffic was extremely light compared to reality though.

Anyway, back on the film itself. The first half was pretty dull and unexciting. The exposition took too long and I can see other ways to have saved time and keep a better pace. The flashbacks were clumsy, some of them out of place or could have been done better to save time and give a chance for character or story developments. Instead, we get scenes shifting from one point-of-view from another. How this top secret organization tries to cover up the mess Jason Bourne has done and tracking down one of the scientists who ends up with Aaron Cross (Jeremy Renner).

Aaron Cross' own story line is less than interesting as he seeks out a way how to maintain his enhanced physical and mental abilities, and, yes, that pretty much sums the entire thing. 

In fact, the only good bit it had was on the last thirty or so minutes of the film - or maybe less, when Aaron actually begins to beat up Filipinos, and then an exaggeratedly long chase scene from the cops and a completely random assassin that shows up somewhere in the middle without uttering a single word. The chase scene itself ends with a huge meh and the song Extreme Ways starts kicking in.

I laughed out loud in the cinemas when police reacted immediately to seek out the foreign fugitives, and I laughed harder still when they found the location in a matter of hours. Seriously, a lot of people appreciate the kindness of making the Philippine police look good, but in reality, they would just go "We'll see 'em when we see 'em" and not really do anything to search.

The film is fun but not enough to watch more than once. I don't even think the film is worth watching in cinemas. Also, I feel the stapled song, Extreme Ways, should have been Jason Bourne exclusive, but whatever. 

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