Sunday, August 05, 2012

“The Bourne Legacy”–Movie Review



This weekend, my movie class had the summer’s final bonus screening with “The Bourne Legacy” starring Jeremy Renner and Rachel Weisz.



When leaders of a Special Operations Team of the CIA decide to terminate their group for security reasons, agents on that team suddenly start turning up dead around the world – but can the one agent who survived somehow manage to keep himself alive against all odds?



Special Operations Agent Aaron Cross (Renner) is on a training mission somewhere in Alaska when he discovers that someone is out to get him – little does he know, however, that this someone is the head of the team for which he works.  Oblivious to the fact that his colleagues are perishing all around the globe, Cross nevertheless suspects that this sudden assassination attempt may have something to do with a secretive scientific experiment in which he – and the other agents on his team – took part.  Cross then decides to return to Maryland, where the lab conducting the tests is located.

Meanwhile, back at this lab, Dr. Marta Shearing (Weisz) – one of the scientists conducting these experiments – barely manages to escape an attempt on her life when a trusted co-worker goes rogue and murders several of her colleagues before committing suicide. Following this incident, agents are sent to Shearing’s home to ensure that she is coping with this trauma – but when it turns out that their true mission is to finish the job started by the rogue co-worker, she struggles to save herself.  It is at this point Cross intercedes and rescues Shearing – but not before getting some questions answered. 

Shearing explains that Cross and the other agents have been part of an experiment seeking to strengthen the team both physically and mentally by plying them with a virus that may have unknown side effects.  Informing him that removing the virus from his system will require travelling to The Philippines to obtain a serum that may also have its own dangerous side effects, the two set out on the excursion with the leaders of the Special Ops team tracking them all the way.  But when a Bangkok assassin is sent to kill both Cross and Shearing, can the two escape before he catches up with them?



A movie such as “The Bourne Legacy” is an unusual one for my class to screen.  For one thing, it’s a major Hollywood studio release that has a potential for big box office even without any word of mouth from our group.  Another reason why it’s unusual is due to the fact that it’s an action-adventure film, which is something that is rarely selected for us.  Regardless, I would say that while “The Bourne Legacy” is in no way short on fist fights, gunplay and chase scenes – things for which the franchise has long been known – it comes up short in terms of plot. 

While I made a stab at trying to provide a story description above, I have to admit that very little of “The Bourne Legacy” made sense to me.  I found its story convoluted, difficult to follow and essentially incomprehensible.  Although major characters from previous films in this series are alluded to in one way or another, one still is left rather puzzled trying to figure out exactly what the connection is supposed to be with Jason Bourne.  Based on what I’ve seen in “The Bourne Legacy” it would appear that this franchise has completely jumped the shark and its creators have simply run out of ideas. 

Following the screening, our class had a brief discussion about “The Bourne Legacy”.  I was greatly relieved to learn that I was not the only one left utterly befuddled by this film. Our instructor confessed that he was perplexed as well and he asked the class if anyone else was similarly confused; a great majority of the students admitted to scratching their head over this flick.  Should you see “The Bourne Legacy”?  Well, if you are willing to plunk down your cash to totally turn off your brain and just sit back and watch a couple of hours of mindless violence, then by all means, go for it; on the other hand, if you are hoping for a movie with an engaging, coherent story, then you may want to consider passing on this one.  


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