Bourne Film Productions, Bourne Four Productions, Bourne Four Productions,
Jeremy Renner, Rachel Weisz, Edward Norton, Joan Allen, Albert Finney, Stacy Keach, Oscar Isaac, David Strathairn, Scott Glenn
Aaron Cross (Jeremy Renner) is out there in the world, struggling to stay alive and cut off by the people who created him. Bourne is gone, but we find that there were other genetic experiments gone awry. The government is out to kill him and he’s in a bad way. But he meets and save Dr. Marta Shearing (Rachel Weisz) who joins him in a global adventure to get Aaron the help that he needs and to keep one step away from the folks that are trying to kill him in this heavy duty fourth wheel on the tricycle which is the Bourne Legacy. It’s high adventure, fast chases, spectacular locations, and did I say “fast chases?” This fourth Bourne film build on the “Legacy” Jason Bourne built up in the first three films and adds to it.
Universal, in making this film, was stretching for something to bring out to make some moolah this summer. They decided to make a forth Bourne film that was jokingly described initially as “Bourne Redunancy”. Not a bad title. You remember the City Slickers movies with Billy Crystal and Jack Palance as Curley. Curley was one of my favorite characters of all times. But in one particularly poignant moment, Billy Crystal’s character is reflecting on how unhappy his life is…how unfulfilled, and how the journey was an attempt for him to find out where his life is going, and Curley gives him the secret of true happiness. “One thing”, Curley tells him. Find one thing that makes you happy and hold on to it and never let it go. When Billy’s character asks him what the “one thing” is, of course Curley tells him that’s for him to find out. Well it appears this film is built around the City Slickers theory. The makers of this film got their “one thing”.
They created something they shouldn’t have, it’s about to blow up in their face, and they want to destroy all evidence of it before it brings them down. So for the entire first 2/3 of the movie, every scene, every bit of dialog, everything that happens is to tell us that they created something bad, and they need to get rid of it. This is told to us over and over and over and over. As if we didn’t get enough of that in the original three films, we need a fourth to hammer it home.
First the really good things about this film. Jeremy Renner is actually a very good action hero. I’ve seen him before, but I’ve never seen him take over a film like he did in this one. Rachel Weisz also did a really good job playing her role. One moment a mousy little scientist who has no clue what’s going on, and the next, Aaron’s sidekick that can stand up to the toughest of bad guys. The locations are stunning. The final chase scene through the city of Manila is breathtaking, though a tad unrealistic, high speed chases are not supposed to be realistic.
But on the down side….don’t worry if half way into this thing you don’t understand what’s going on. When it’s over, you still won’t know, so what’s the difference. Just remember that they “bad guys who look like good guys” did a bad thing and they’re trying to undo it before they get caught. That’s all you need to know. I guess that in the previews someone mentioned that “Bourne” was only the beginning. That made it seem like there was more than one. So just before wrapping up, someone must have though…oh, what about the “other Bournes” so they came up with this Asian guy who decided to step in during the final chase scene and keep trying to kill Aaron. They keep telling us what a bad ass he is, and though I don’t really know why he simply wanted to kill Aaron (I guess somehow they programmed him to go after him or something, but that doesn’t make sense. If it were that easy, they could program Aaron to come home, right?) Anyway, he keeps chasing Aaron, and it appears we’re in for a huge showdown at some point. I’m talking a Bruce Lee fights Chuck Norris in the Colosseum in Rome showdown! Instead, Rachel kicks him and he’s gone. What was that about?
There are a number of similar things that made this whole thing seem weakly put together and kind of an afterthought kind of story. It could have used some help. On the other hand, I was never really into the whole Bourne thing in the first place. Superheroes that aren’t super and aren’t heroes never actually grabbed me. It’s a decent adventure with some good locations. It’s a tad long, and could have been shorter. The whole “wolf chase” in the beginning didn’t seem to be very critical to the story, and I found myself looking at my watch a few times. Basically, I had to see this, but I’m glad I can move on to something a little more to my taste now.
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