Hey schmuck, yes, I’m talkin to you – Jason Bourne is not indispensable in Bourne Legacy.
Nor are Matt Damon and director Paul Greengrass must-haves.
Jeremy Renner, Rachel Weisz and director Tony Gilroy will do just fine.
I must confess that after scanning all the negative reviews, I did harbor some trepidation before entering the theatre.
But thankfully my fears proved groundless.
Bourne Legacy turned out to be a delightful, fast-paced movie, jumping from Alaska to Bethesda (MD) to Reston (VA) to Washington DC to Chicago to NYC to Seoul to London to Karachi and Manila.
It’s a shame that a lot of critics unjustly slammed the latest Bourne movie, partly on the ground that its hero Jeremy Renner (of Hurt Locker fame) is no Matt Damon.
And partly because they claim there’s not enough action and that the new Bourne director Tony Gilroy is no patch on Paul Greengrass.
Good Lord, just because it’s an action movie, must we be subjected ad infinitum to the hero jumping from rooftop to rooftop in third world slums, shooting and being shot at, chasing bad guys and being chased.
Bourne Legacy comes with a good dose of action, and strikes the right balance between the running, shooting and chasing and the calmer moments.
Jeremy Renner plays Aaron Cross, one of the members of a sinister government operation called Outcome headed by Eric Byer (Ed Norton).
If you thought Operation Treadstone (from the earlier Bourne movies) was evil, Outcome is beyond the pale.
Operation Outcome is a rogue government operation that involves pumping up the bodies of a group of special agents with fancy drugs to boost their bodies, muscles, minds etc.
A blue pill and a green pill. No kidding, that’s what these agents must have at frequent intervals to be in good shape.
But news that Jason Bourne is alive and exposing Operation Treadstone scares and galvanizes the Outcome team into deep-sixing Outcome and attempting to eliminate all the pumped-up agents.
But our man Aaaron Cross is made of different mettle.
Just like Jason Bourne, Aaron Cross is not a man to be crossed nor one you can easily double-cross.
Battling fierce wolves in the Alaskan wild, cleverly deceiving the government drone aircraft sent to kill him, Aaaron escapes, hooks up with the beautiful Dr.Marta Shearing (Rachel Weisz) on the way and takes off to the other end of the world – Manila – in pursuit of the Blue pill that he’s running low on.
There’s enough action in the film including rooftop chases, and a terrific motorbike chase in Manila to satisfy most Bourne fans.
Jeremy, Rachel Deliver
Jeremy Renner like Matt Damon is no great actor.
But he’s more than adequate for the role and delivers a strong performance.
Whether in the icy Alaska or tropical Manila, Aaron is suited to the environment, just like Jason Bourne.
And what’s not to like about Rachel Weisz?
Ever since I watched her in the touching film The Constant Gardner, I’ve been smitten with the Oscar winning actress.
In a movie world chockablock with the likes of classless creatures like Katrina Kaif and Kareena Kapoor, Rachel Weisz is elegance and class personified.
Robert Elswit’s camera work is pleasing to the eye.
Whether it’s barren Alaska or crowded Manila, Elswit is up to the challenge.
Overall, director Tony Gilroy delivers a decent sequel in Bourne Legacy. Tony also penned the screenplay with brother Dan.
And considering the movie lacks Jason Bourne (and by default Matt Damon), Tony Gilroy’s achievement is all the more creditable.