Wednesday, August 15, 2012

The Bourne Legacy: Gripping As Expected

I desperately did not want the Bourne franchise to end with the third movie, but made peace that it did. But it did not die when I thought it did, just like Bourne keeps living on in the movies. Word is Matt Damon wants to come back as Bourne. I can't wait.

"Mr. Bond, you have a nasty habit of surviving!"

I prefer Bourne to Bond. Bourne is the best the CIA has to offer, and they turn on each other. That anti-establishment theme adds depth to the relentless action.

And then there's Manila traffic. Can't beat the Third World when it comes to traffic chaos. That and slum living. A chase in the slum is breathtaking because you don't know what's around the corner.

I watched it at Kaufman. I walked over. And I walked back. It was past midnight. I jogged. It was thrilling. For one I got lost. It is harder to navigate the streets when there are no people, few cars.

I like them both, but if pushed I'd say Matt Damon does it better. He can look more cerebral, more vulnerable, more conflicted, and more determined as necessary.

Time: Will The Bourne Legacy Usher in the Story-Less Movie?
the corrupt U.S. Government agency behind the programs to create super-soldiers — is left to menace another day ..... the movie’s lack of story is apparently not a problem for most people. Not only did the movie debut at the top of the box office this past weekend, but the movie’s critical notices (which have been amusingly split) include praise for its momentum, its “turn-your-brain-off” qualities, and the sheer breathlessness of the experience of the film. As Tim Robey of the Daily Telegraph puts it, “Caveats come later: while it’s pulsing on screen, you won’t want to be anywhere else.” The critics at the screening I went to seem to agree that summer movies aren’t about story, but about spectacle. As long as you have enough memorable scenes of special effects or action in there — for example, Jeremy Renner wrestling a wolf, which he then goes on to punch in the face — then people will want to see it...... in almost every clash between culture and commerce, it generally pays to be cynical, sadly.... It’s not that The Bourne Legacy is a good movie in and of itself, perhaps, but that it reminds people of enough other good movies that they still manage to find the viewing experience worthwhile. (Plus, you know, wolf-punching.)
This right here is another movie to wait for. I predicted it will be made right after the event: The Bin Laden Operation.

  Matt Damon On ‘Bourne Legacy’ And the Future of the Bourne Franchise
the gritty world of assassins, spies and government cover-ups ..... With franchise scribe Tony Gilroy at the helm, most feel confident that the film will, at the very least, stay true to the tone that Bourne Identity director Doug Liman, Bourne Supremacy/Ultimatum director Paul Greengrass and Jason Bourne himself, Matt Damon, established in the first three films. ..... we touched upon the Bourne franchise, his hopes for Bourne Legacy, and what his involvement may be in the future of the franchise ...... There’s been talk about you joining Jeremy Renner in Bourne 5. Producer Frank Marshall said that was his dream ..... He’s awesome, and you know, he’s one of my favorite actors and I believe him in that world. You know, when Paul and I talked about maybe doing one, years ago, where we pass it off to somebody so the franchise can continue with someone else, Renner was the first guy that we talked about.
Bourne 5 could see a triangular struggle. The two have teamed up, but only remotely. There is just too much relentless pressure for them to get together physically, but they coordinate acts. And because both of them have similar operating styles that confuses the agency. The agency does not know which one of them they are dealing with at any one point in time. Although the agency knows both of them are out there. But as Pam Landy says, "If you don't see them, they are gone." So it's the agency at their tails, and them fighting some non state actor elsewhere which is even more evil. Some leftover element of the Al Qaida perhaps whose individual operatives are no match to these two super soldiers. These walking talking robots, super humans, computers, machines, humans, cyborgs, Matt, is that you?

Physicists talk of parallel universes. The Legacy is a parallel universe.

Tony Gilroy Talks ‘Bourne Legacy’; Renner & Damon May Team Up for ‘Bourne 5′
ever since writer/director Tony Gilroy conceived the project, the door’s been left open for Matt Damon to return as Jason Bourne in a fifth installment (we’ll just call it Bourne 5 for now). ..... Bourne Legacy overlaps directly with events in the Bourne trilogy. Moreover, it appears that plot points from Bourne Ultimatum reappear in Legacy, in order to set the storyline of the latter in motion..... My dream is that in the next one we see Matt and Jeremy team up .... the non-fractured mindset of Renner’s character
I have a name for Bourne 5: The Bourne Resurrection. Where do the two get their resources? They know the agency so well they dip in at will into the agency's resources. But they are like this startup that just can not join forces with the big, old corporation. The agency is the big, old corporation. So here's the plot. The two team up remotely, accidentally. They get into a fight with a terrorist organization. And the agency keeps getting in the way. They manage to infiltrate the terror organization to prevent a major catastrophe. Wait, I am taking away from the tension between the agency and the super soldier. The agency itself is the best enemy the super soldier can hope for.

Philadelphia Weekly: "The Bourne Legacy" is a Far Cry from its Predecessors
The chief architect of the Bourne franchise, Gilroy was pissed when his script for Supremacy, the series’ second, was pummeled into pure whiplash action by director Paul Greengrass, thus softening what he had planned as a tale of redemption. In retaliation, he only turned in a hasty, pissy rough draft on Ultimatum, described by Damon as a “career-ender.” In a 2009 New Yorker piece, he claimed to have never watched it
NY Daily News: 'The Bourne Legacy' - interesting reboot, but not exciting enough
Jason Bourne was part of a top-secret government project. Turns out he was not the only one and after an intelligence failure, as the US government is shutting down the project which is killing every soldier in the project, one of them, Aaron Cross (Jeremy Renner) escapes..... He teams up with the doctor (Rachel Weisz), who used to administer performance-enhancing medications even as the US government tries to hunt him down...... The original "Bourne" series was exciting because Bourne was an assassin trying to find himself. He was a man of conscience who had killed a guy he knew he shouldn't have. Amnesia and conscience had made a potent mix there...... Though this part does try to build these two elements up, the attempt lacks lustre. Aaron is only trying to find himself and not remember himself. And secondly, the bit about him having developed a conscience is so poorly developed that this one small flaw takes the sting out of the film...... Thus you don't feel as much pull as you did in the "Bourne" series because the emotional base is not built well enough..... Aaron is thus as much of a quick thinker and doer as Bourne was and is a good fighter and evader of authorities. There are some good chase sequences as well. The actors live up to the expectations..... What's missing are some more hand-to-hand fights and a shaky camera, two staple elements of the original series. The camera here is too steady, and the close-ups during the fights too close for comfort..... Yet, the theme of a powerful and power hungry nation creating monsters of mass destruction to control the world to their own advantage, and then unable to cope when just one backfires, is strong enough
The Telegraph: The Bourne Legacy: review
If a medal could be awarded every summer to the movie that most handily exceeds pre-release expectations, my vote for this season would go straight to The Bourne Legacy. Predictions — even early reactions — weren’t too sanguine. How could a Bourne movie possibly function without Jason Bourne in the middle of it? Isn’t Matt Damon vitally necessary to making these flicks tick? Also, how would the franchise fare with its screenwriter, Tony Gilroy, in the director’s chair, rather than the more obviously virtuosic Paul Greengrass, who handled the last two? ...... It’s not so much a sequel as, if you like, a para-quel, overlapping the story of Jeremy Renner’s new rogue agent with the familiar saga of Bourne’s amnesia-stricken reappearance and quest for answers. Bourne never shows up in person here, but he’s a structuring absence around which Gilroy dances with flair. ..... enhancing the field abilities of its agents, both physically and intellectually, by the use of experimental drugs ..... the same high-tech instruments of pursuit that Bourne had to outwit. ..... Renner brings a variation on his impudent Hurt Locker stoicism to bear on this: it’s nothing to do with him that the character lacks Bourne’s tragic air of a little boy lost, and is correspondingly less compelling. ..... rapid, detailed and unpredictable storytelling which never needs to push us far forward in time: call it top-flight running on the spot. ..... there’s nothing here on a par with that astonishing Moscow stuff in The Bourne Supremacy
I have a better plot. The CIA knows the two of them are out there. And it is still chasing them. The two of them don't know about each other. So when the two intersect with the agency, the agency keeps confusing one with the other. That sometimes plays to their advantages, sometimes to their disadvantages. Finally they come to know of each other's existence, but they still never get to meet. And the movie ends. The tension is still there. Between the agency and the super soldier gone free agent. And there is a girl. Instead of amnesia the tension comes from not knowing the other exists.

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