Series sequel a challenging watch
By V.R. BryantPosted Aug 15, 2012
I’m always willing to admit personal shortcomings when they affect how I perceive a film. Sometimes it just isn’t my genre; sometimes I have to realize that I am not a member of the movie’s target demographic.
In this case, I’m of the belief that not having seen the latter two of the three preceding films (or having read any one of the books) was to my disadvantage. I believe this because for the first time in a very long time, the plot left me confused.
After reading other critics’ reviews, I feel a tad better – it’s generally agreed upon that the storyline here is convoluted and never quite ties up all of its many loose ends. Interestingly, one of the biggest knocks is that star Jeremy Renner simply ‘isn’t’ Matt Damon. For me, that was a bonus. But that’s not important.
The fourth Bourne film starts off in earnest, trying to establish Aaron Cross (Renner) as a practical superhero, the hallmark of the men produced by a secret government program aimed at engineering superspies. In this endeavor, the film succeeds. Renner may not be classically handsome, but he knows how to kick an ass or two.
For reasons that, at the time, seemed somewhat unclear, the bigwigs decide suddenly to begin offing the subjects of the program. I could at least tell that it was a C’YA move by those architects of the program; it became apparent later that even though he doesn’t appear in Legacy in the flesh, Jason Bourne is the driving factor behind the exposure of the top-secret programs.
Cross gets wise to the deal, avoids termination with the help of a furry friend (a great scene), and gets going on squirming his way free of the project – specifically the drugs that make him the dynamo he is and that he is dependent upon to survive.
It’s the deconstruction of this project (known familiarly as Treadstone) that occupies the lion’s share of the 215-minute runtime. Co-star Rachel Weisz plays a virology expert who gets wrapped up when things go wrong. Cross swoops in to save her in the nick of time, and voila: there’s your romance factor.
Being that I’ve only ever seen the first of the series, I’m hesitant to levy too much criticism for this installment, which is feeling very much like a mere repackaging of The Bourne Identity. Perhaps things took place in films two and three that would have made things less muddy in this, film four. On its own, there were several moments during which I felt lost.
Some measure of redemption came in the form of an extended chase sequence to effectively end the movie, a ten-minute-or-longer romp through Indonesia on motorcycles (mostly) that rivals even the chase scene from Ronin.
It was a reasonable payoff for struggling as I did to follow the many plot movements and decode the terminology. Overall, it’s a good correlation for the movie as a whole. It’s a long, slightly overwrought journey, but there are absolutely moments throughout that kept my blood pumping, my eyes open, and my brain interested.
My Rating: 2.5 out of 5 stars
Glee: Season Three
Probably goes without saying that I’m not the Glee type. But I am aware of its effect on people, and I’m not opposed to its existence. What exactly about the show prompts people to have weekly watch parties is beyond me, but so is calculus – doesn’t mean it doesn’t serve a purpose.
The Raid: Redemption
As far as martial arts movies go, I have to say, this one did it for me. There was no flying, no magic. Just a bunch of guys with limited ammunition beating the piss out of one another for your enjoyment. Enter the Dragon it is not, but then, nothing is. There’s still plenty of fun to be had with this one.
Dexter: Season Six
I’ve still yet to work my way into this series, but I’m told it’s beloved by men and women alike. What better way to get your respective blood flowing than to watch so much of it being spilled by a tall, handsome man on cable television?