Wednesday, September 5, 2012

The Bourne Legacy (Brockway)

Tropic Sprockets by Ian Brockway

The Bourne Legacy

Brace yourself. "The Bourne Legacy" has arrived. The film makes a fair accessory to the beloved series and is sure to please punch drunk fans, but  midway through it becomes a déjà vu melange, a mousse and a mish-mash of the earlier films.

The initial scenes show Jeremy Renner who plays the protagonist in this outing, the deliberate Aaron Cross. Cross is in the wilds of Alaska doing various training exercises and does an exceptional job being cold.

As it turns out Jason Bourne (who makes a cameo of sorts on some paperwork) has been going rogue and acting impulsive and the agency becomes hellbent on eradicating the agent program that assumedly Bourne and Cross are a part of. The agents are deemed a security risk, although the film's explanations are a bit sketchy. 

Suffice to say that a retired Air Force Colonel played by Edward Norton sends a drone out to dispose of Cross, who narrowly escapes in a zigzagging fight to the death with a very angry wolf. 

So here we have Jeremy Renner who is an lone agent and a man alone. 

The action is thrilling and moves along quite well. The one reservation being that it becomes all too familiar by midpoint. 

Renner is intriguing to watch mainly because he has such an interesting face. At once hard, yet also sensitive and capable of Lon Chaney, Jr's anguish, he is not always your typical faceless mercenary type ala a Schwarzenegger or Keanu Reeves. Renner faithfully guides us through both apprehension and combat and makes it seem like everything is new, even though we zoom, slide, fire and punch our way though a well worn visual scenario. 

There is one point where the other agents are assassinated with behavior modification and this is very compelling, but the eerie notions of this subplot are dropped and the film becomes rather conventional in its cat and mouse chasing. There are several scenes of running and jumping with various policemen and one ominous Bad Guy, but we have seen such crashes and high speed chases before.  The Bad Guy is so determined that his persistence will make you hoot with laughter. Such near decapitations hover wonderfully close to a mixture of parody and tribute and do make for a good show. If only The Bad Guy in the white Zoot-suit didn't crash headlong into a fruit stand, (yes a fruit stand) where he promptly loses all of his ominous credibility. 

Thank goodness for Jeremy Renner's perpetually entertaining presence. He has enough haunt to make anyone stick with him through thick and thin.

There is one homicidal gun episode which seems a bit gratuitous given current events, but all in all, the film, in the tradition of a Bronson matinee, has enough punches and predicaments to satisfy those who consider themselves to be Bourne Again.

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