Sunday, August 12, 2012

Bourne Legacy

I enjoyed Bourne Legacy. I can understand why it's been getting mixed reviews, but I enjoyed the film and am looking forward to another Bourne installment starring Jeremy Renner. Proceed at your own risk from here on in as there may be some spoilers, although I will attempt to keep them minor.

I need to get that out of the way in the beginning because I'm going to go into some criticisms and I want to make it clear that I liked the movie in spite of them. There are two main criticisms that I think people have with the movie, one valid and one less so. The less valid criticism is that you're going to have a harder time following what's going on in the movie if you haven't seen the original trilogy. To me, that's a strength.  It lets them build off the previously established situations and events. If you come into the fourth movie of a series having never seen any of the prior movies that's your fault, not the movie's.

The bigger problem with the movie is that there is no third act. We go straight from the rising tension of the second act to the closing credits. There's leaving room for a sequel, and then there's not finishing your movie, and Legacy errs on the latter side of things.

One thing that helps excuse this for me is the truly awesome motorcycle chase that precedes those closing credits. The only thing that keeps me from calling it the best motorcycle chase on film is the often questionable camera work (shaky cam abuse). The chase through Manila is both interesting as a chase, and as an exotic locale. It also helped that it was a believable chase scene. There wasn't a single stunt that made me think special effects were involved. I don't know if it was, but it all looked like legitimate stunt-work, not magic performed in the editing room.

The rest of the movie isn't bad either, but I'm prejudiced towards the chase scene as both a fan of chase scenes and as someone who has actually been to Manila, so the scenes set there were even more engaging to me than they would have been otherwise.

It's not the best movie in the series, but if you liked those earlier films then it's still worth watching.

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