Wednesday, 15 August 2012

The Bourne Legacy - The scoop and digest

Hi everybody, 13 August 2012 saw another launch night and with it, another blockbuster.  I don't know if that's been generous or not but it's certainly a highly anticipated movie.

Sure, it was never as tall as The Dark Knight Rises or Prometheus but it was certainly no short-ass either.

It’s always difficult to gatecrash a franchise but as Director Tony Gilroy recruited Jeremy Renner to effectively step into Matt Damon’s boots, it didn’t and wasn’t such a bad idea.

I never thought that the Bourne trilogy was great but I did think they were good and delivered what they said on the tin.

Personally, I thought Supremacy was the best of the three.

Anyway, I’m not here to talk about the past, let’s see what I think about the present and Legacy.

I appreciate this was only released on Monday so I’m not going really in-depth but instead take a juicy nibble on the intro, general plot, action and most importantly, is it worth seeing on the big screen or is it best consigned to a DVD rental.

It’s one of those, ‘not related to but is part of the same universe’ efforts.

We see new hero Aaron Cross (Jeremy Renner) undertaking intense training in Alaska who is part of Operation Outcome, a black-ops program that provides agents with green and blue pills to enhance physical and mental abilities respectively.  He is only known as ‘Number 5’.

After meeting up with another agent (Number 3) and after general horsing around, our man Cross whilst attempting forty winks, notices the name ‘Jason Bourne’ carved into the woodwork.

Bourne is still obviously pertinent to the plot and in the background; he’s busy doing his level best to expose all things associated with Operation Blackbriar and the Treadstone Project.  This naturally puts the fear of God up the CIA as they are now being investigated by the FBI.

So Kramer (Scott Glenn) enlists retired Colonel Byer (Edward Norton), to help ease the situation.

Of course, the easiest way to solve a problem and cover your back is to eliminate it so after learning of their location, Norton attempts to rid both Agents by deploying a drone (basically a remote-controlled missile shooting aircraft).

Cross uses a high-powered sniper rifle to destroy the drone and realising that he’s knee deep in shit and subject to assassination, he removes an internal tracking device from his body and ‘persuades’ a hungry wolf to swallow it, hence creating a decoy.

Another lock-on is made to take out his ass once and for all, but as calculated, the missile destroys the unintended target.

Does this tracking device remind you of Total Recall?  Okay, the circumstances are chalk and cheese but the principle remains…

This makes Byer believe that two problems are taken care of but then sets about wiping out agents on a global scale.

He does this by ordering all pill handlers to replace the green and blues with differently shaped yellow pills which in effect, will kill the other Outcome agents in a matter of hours.

An unfortunate Doctor (Rachel Weisz) eventually gets tangled up in the mayhem; who reluctantly agrees to assist and help Cross after receiving a thorough explanation.

Inevitably, a super baddie is sent to dispose of Cross and his female helper…

So w/o totally ruining it, a series of other events follow leading to some crash, bang, wallop action, ‘meds and chems’, bloodwork and Cross dishing out some satisfying punishment.

Various locations are explored and cinematography is always handled without much complaint.

The plot is decent and has a certain degree of intelligence.  The action doesn’t deliver a knockout but it certainly hit me with an overhand right.

It is intermittent but expect it to be well handled and staged.  Nicely, Gilroy resists the ridiculous, shying away from endless explosions and preposterous stunts.

The definite highlight is the motorbike chase.

Renner, Norton and Weisz amongst others, do what they can with their chars, and do it well.

Scott Glenn as a CIA heavyweight is rather watchable.

Mr Renner is more than competent at taking care of himself in unarmed combat.

In addition, it boasts an above average script and if the plot was a tea strainer, it would be a fairly useless object as I didn’t really notice any holes.

Gilroy may well do what Nolan did with Batman and I’d be interested to see his equivalent of The Dark Knight.  I’m really not sure where he’d go with the name unless he calls it something totally different.

After all, sacking off using Batman as part of the title seemed to work for Nolan so who knows, the next may use ‘Cross’ instead of Bourne.

This is of course clutching at straws as Gilroy may not even be the director of the next.  If indeed there is a ‘next’ or ‘another’ but this seems a fairly safe bet.

So in my opinion, it’s good and well worth seeing.  Although having said that, if launch night wasn’t on cheap night, I would have waited.

I don’t know if I’m making this a regular slot, but as I’m really looking forward to the popcorn action nonsense that is The Expendables 2, I suppose I’ll cover that too.

I make this demand to Sly, JCVD, Norris, Lundgren, Arnie et al.  This better be entertaining, loaded with parodies and high-octane action.  Okay, I expect the plot to be expendable, but as long as the rest delivers, I really couldn’t care less.

If this is a train wreck of a movie, your expensive Zimmer frames are not an acceptable excuse.

One thing’s for certain, Total Recall will more than likely be seen on opening night and that will receive similar treatment.

As a further side note, I quite like the look of Jack Reacher and if the action is anything like Collateral; that might be an unexpected hit.

I’ll be back.

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