Wednesday, January 30, 2013

The Bourne Legacy: Navigating the Labyrinth

The Bourne Legacy Review

If you ever went to high school, you should be able to recall how you felt when you stared a complicating math question involving vectors or quadratic equations. Words and phrases that come to my mind are mind-numbing, backbreaking and painful.  The first 40 minutes of The Bourne Legacy are the same. Words such as Treadstone and Blackbriar invade your thoughts, and you don’t remember them, because the last Bourne movie you saw was in 2007. I was exhausted trying to jog my memory that I gave up watching the movie on some days.

Yet, the going definitely gets better later on with plenty of intense action sequences and as the pieces of the puzzle slowly fit into place. As the movie takes place simultaneously with The Bourne Ultimatum, bit by bit you begin to see connections and the story begins to demystify. But beyond this point, what were truly exceptional were the lead performances from the cast themselves.

Jeremy Renner plays his part as Aaron Cross, matching the physical portrayal enacted by Matt Damon in the previous installments. Rachel Weisz does exceptionally well as the female scientist struggling to figure out how she ever got involved in this international conspiracy. Yet, the stand out performance for me was from Zeljko Ivanek, who plays the doctor who decides to go on a rampage at a science facility, killing half the employees, if not more using a hand gun with unequivocal efficiency before security guards take him down. Everything from his face down to his casual yet purposeful demeanor, painted a horrifying and haunting picture. This was the turning point of the movie for me and drew me right in.

After that scene, the action scenes gather momentum, getting better as the story progresses, just like an aging bottle of wine. They range from locations in North America to the Philippines half a world away. The movie is a good watch, yet at its end it leaves a lot of questions unanswered regarding the entire conspiracy as a whole, a good strategy to keep the franchise alive for years to come yet it might anger most who want a definite ending. I delayed watching this movie for months since Matt Damon wasn't returning to the series, yet I would recommend checking the film out, the 2nd half at least.       

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