Legacy limps along

Sunday Tasmanian - Tassie Living - - EGuide Movies - LEIGH PAATSCH

IN AN early scene of The Bourne Legacy, a back­room an­a­lyst hur­riedly steps out of a meet­ing to phone his su­pe­ri­ors.

‘‘ We’ve just had word Ja­son Bourne is back and on the loose in Man­hat­tan!’’ is the gen­eral gist of the call.

At the other end of the line, ev­ery­one is go­ing for gold in Olympic frown­ing, or fairly poo­ing them­selves.

This is the first of many just- hang- on- aminute- there mo­ments due for de­liv­ery throughout The Bourne Legacy.

For we’ve had word for quite some time that Ja­son Bourne was not show­ing up for the next movie.

Nev­er­the­less, The Bourne Legacy des­per­ately in­vokes the mem­ory of the world’s favourite am­ne­siac fugi­tive.

So what will you be get­ting in place of Matt Da­mon in The Bourne Legacy? Jeremy Ren­ner.

Al­most won a Best Ac­tor Os­car for The Hurt Locker.

Hasn’t re­ally set the world on fire since but, what’s more, Ren­ner ( pic­tured) does not ex­ude that em­phatic, look- at- me star qual­ity needed to quell any right­ful doubts one might have about The Bourne Legacy.

Par­tic­u­larly once you get to grips with the dud char­ac­ter he is play­ing here: Aaron Cross, a long- lost Op­er­a­tion Tread­stone sta­ble­mate of, umm, what was that guy’s name again? Yeah, Ja­son Bourne.

Aaron eludes easy clas­si­fi­ca­tion as hero or anti- hero. Which never au­gurs well for the adrenalin lev­els of an ac­tion pic­ture. You can­not ex­actly side against the guy. Like all Tread­stone op­er­a­tives still out in the field, Cross is al­ways itch­ing for more of the clas­si­fied med­i­ca­tion that makes him a su­per- spy.

Then again, you can­not re­ally side with the guy. Par­tic­u­larly in the scene where he ap­pears to badly maim and/ or kill some lowly paid guards at a Filipino pill fac­tory. ( Or the scene after­wards, where Cross com­pre­hen­sively con­cusses our very own Kenny. Bizarrely, the fac­tory head of se­cu­rity is played by Shane Ja­cob­son.)

The prob­lems blight­ing The Bourne Legacy are not con­fined to its enig­matic lead char­ac­ter. The screen­play is a shocker. The first act runs al­most 40 min­utes, with the sole pay- off be­ing we get to see Cross wres­tle a wolf.

The poor beast is hit by a heat- seek­ing mis­sile be­fore the bout is com­plete, which is no one’s idea of a fair fight.

The sec­ond act is not much of an im­prove­ment.

Cross needs his ‘‘ chems’’ and he needs them now. So he looks up Dr Martha Shear­ing, a for­mer Tread­stone sci­en­tist played by Rachel Weisz ( in­set with Ren­ner). The pair are nar­ra­tively shack­led to­gether for the rest of the pic­ture.

Weisz brings her best work from The Mummy, yelling out stuff like ‘‘ he’s got a gun!’’ at the right mo­ments, and switch­ing emo­tional states from ex­treme panic to com­plete calm in mere sec­onds.

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