Re­cy­cled thrills still pretty good

Kapi-Mana News - - ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT -

The Bourne Legacy

Star­ring Jeremy Ren­ner, Ed­ward Nor­ton, Rachel Weisz, Stacy Keach. Screen­play by Tony Gil­roy and Dan Gil­roy. Di­rected by Tony Gil­roy. 135 min­utes, rated M (vi­o­lence), show­ing at Read­ing Cine­mas Porirua, Light House Pau­ata­hanui. If it looks like Bourne, walks like Bourne, and talks like Bourne, it’s Bourne right? Not quite. Jeremy Ren­ner has a pretty good go at fill­ing the se­cret agent shoes Matt Da­mon con­sid­ered too worn-out to wear again, in The Bourne Legacy, but the ter­rain he cov­ers is painfully fa­mil­iar.

Univer­sal Stu­dios was left hold­ing a hot fran­chise with an un­cer­tain fu­ture when Da­mon and di­rec­tor Paul Green­grass de­cided enough was enough af­ter The Bourne Ul­ti­ma­tum. The story arc of am­ne­siac ac­tion man Ja­son Bourne was com­plete.

But three bril­liant glo­be­trot­ting spy thrillers were not enough for Univer­sal, which was never likely to let its most suc­cess­ful ac­tive fran­chise end with Bourne leap­ing into the East River and swim­ming off to a new life.

As it turns out, while the CIA was busy try­ing to elim­i­nate Bourne – a black ops killing ma­chine in­tent on out­ing his ar­chi­tects – they also had their hands full cov­er­ing their tracks on all man­ner of dodgy projects in­volv­ing ge­net­i­cally- en­hanced as­sas­sins should the Bourne scan­dal trace back to them.

This in­cludes the ex­ter­mi­na­tion of agents in the field and sci­ence units, a task co-or­di­nated by stone cold colonel Eric Byer (an ef­fec­tively prickly Ed­ward Nor­ton).

Es­cap­ing his net is Ren­ner’s Aaron Cross, a fight-happy agent des­per­ate for an­swers, and sci­en­tist Marta Shear­ing ( Rachel Weisz), who has been ig­no­rant of the con­se­quences of her lab work.

Cross tracks down Shear­ing, and the CIA chases them both. So far, so Bourne – too much so.

Di­rec­tor Tony Gil­roy – who wrote the scripts for all four pic­tures – has re­tained the pace and plot struc­ture of the ear­lier films, no doubt for co­he­sion. But it means a lot of ideas feel re­cy­cled or re­peated, and the use of shots and out-takes from the ear­lier pic­tures may help with tone and plac­ing the story in con­text, but it also makes it feel like we’re get­ting sloppy sec­onds.

Ren­ner ( The Hurt Locker, The Avengers) is al­ways great at con­vey­ing in­ten­sity and does a great job here, but less care has been taken to dis­tin­guish his char­ac­ter from the un­stop­pable, stock­stan­dard ac­tion hero archetype.

I dearly missed the de­tail given to Ja­son Bourne’s smarts; the check­ing of maps and build­ing plans. He needed to know where he was go­ing. With Cross it’s more of a given that he’ll get there.

The Bourne Legacy is solid enough in that I’ll prob­a­bly be back for an­other ad­ven­ture should Cross’ sto­ry­line be con­tin­ued.

But I’ll be qui­etly hop­ing he gets to cross paths with Matt Da­mon’s Ja­son Bourne.

Bourne this way: Jeremy Ren­ner seeks a quick end to a mo­tor­cy­cle chase in The Bourne Legacy, in which he stars as a black ops agent on the run with Rachel Weisz.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from New Zealand

© PressReader. All rights reserved.