I’ve enjoyed the Jason Bourne movies. It’s been a while since I’ve seen them, and I don’t remember all the details, but I know I walked out feeling like I’d been entertained and it was fun.
Last night my husband (AKA the sexy Russian Prince, Dmytry Karpov) and I went to see this newest release, The Bourne Legacy. While it didn’t suck rotten tomatoes, it really wasn’t worth a rare date night. I’d have been happier watching it on Netflix.
This movie had an interesting premise. At the start, we see a man, Aaron Cross–played by Jeremy Renner, in the dead of winter in the middle of nowhere completing some kind of super hero scavenger hunt. I really enjoyed this set up and scene. The cinematography was breathtaking and it opened up a lot of intrigue and mystery.
We see right away that he’s taking two pills, blue and green, and we know these are important and that he’s more than normal human as he leaps from tree to tree and scales mountains.
The movie then jumps around in mildly confusing and disjointed snippets. It appears to take place during the time frame of the third Bourne movie, so you need to know that to ‘get’ the politics of what’s happening.
The gist is that all the super-secret-shouldn’t-even-exist-organizations hidden by the CIA and other covert organizations are now at risk for exposure because someone found videos on YouTube of two older men celebrating their respective super-secret-shouldn’t-even-exists-organizations together. Apparently, this leak could mean death for us all, and since that can’t happen, everyone else involved in these groups has to die. Of course.
Why these two big wigs wouldn’t know that they can’t be seen in social circles together without risking their entire projects is beyond me. They were cleared for top-secret level shit, right? So… I’m not getting this. How’d this happen at all? Even the agents in my fake IPI (International Paranormal Investigations) know better than this! This is never revealed, and if I remember, we never actually meet these two bozos. We just see them on YouTube while Edward Norton—Retired Col. Eric Byer, USAF—does an impressive job of bossing everyone around and pulling the plug on the super-secret-shouldn’t-even-exists-organization that Aaron Cross is a part of.
This means giving the nine super-secret-shouldn’t-even-exist experiments a new pill, the yellow pill, that kills them. And then a scientist tries to take out all the other super-secret-shouldn’t-even-exit scientists and kills himself.
Naturally, things don’t go according to plan, because bad ass Cross isn’t ready to die, or lose his super smarts, and the lovely Dr. Marta Shearing—Rachel Weisz—also escapes the massacre and then has Cross on her side to survive the forced suicide they try to frame her with.
There’s an interesting “Flowers for Algernon” theme as we see the plight Cross has taken, through his conversations with Shearing and flashbacks. He was recruited to the military with a lie—his recruiter needed to make quota so added 12 (I think, or 16) points to his IQ to make the minimum standard. He was ‘killed’ in action, then given this chance at a second life, with enhanced intelligence and physical prowess—which he understandably doesn’t want to lose.
This was probably my favorite part of the movie, though very undeveloped. As I am in the middle of editing Forbidden Life (the final book in the Forbidden Trilogy) for an October 2nd launch, I am fascinated with genetic experimentation and enhanced human and paranormal attributes and what that means for society. These themes are explored in my first two books and really examined in the final book, so I wished the movie had spent more time here and less time on… oh… say the four hour chase scene at the end.
Okay, maybe it wasn’t four hours, but holy hell it was long and boring! I wanted to see character growth, a plot of some kind with a resolution, SOMETHING! Didn’t happen. The dark moment for the actors happened when Cross was given a virus to lock in his super smarts so he wouldn’t need the pills anymore. Oh no, our hero has flu like symptoms for about 10 minutes, what ever will they do?? It was harrowing I tell you. Harrowing.
Then, in a totally random plot—I hesitate to use the word twist, as that might sound too interesting, perhaps… plot lapse?—they bring in another total random guy who has also been enhanced but without all that pesky human empathy getting in the way. This random man doesn’t say a single word during his brief part in the movie, but he chases Cross and the doctor down the streets of the Philippines. And the cops chase them. And they run from the cops. And Cross and the doctor run from random guy. And random guy steals a bike. And then there is a bike chase scene, after the car chase scene, after the on foot chase scene, after the harrowing 10 minutes of flu-like symptoms.
Be still my heart.
Then, Rachel Weisz ends the chase scene, finally, by kicking random guy off his bike. That’s it. That’s the big climax! Then she uses her big brown eyes to plead for help from a different random guy with boat, and they ride off into the sunset. THAT. IS. IT.
Norton and his crew are just like “Oh no, what happened??” and then there’s some Bourne 3 movie related scenes that have little to no bearing on this movie at all, then we’re left with nothing. It was like the movie stopped, rather than ending. There was no resolution, no real climax, nothing.
Now, I love Weisz, even if she was a bit melodramatic in this, and Renner did a great job as Cross, but the whole movie was about him wanting to stay smart, but without the emotional development that could have carried that theme.
It started something, took us on a sometimes boring ride and then stopped without even a proper ending. It would be like writing a blog post and just
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