All of my friends know that I’m a Bourne fan. A fanatic, really. I own all three original Bourne movies on DVD and have watched each one a dozen times or more. I have eight of the ten Bourne books on my Kindle Fire — three by the originally author, the amazing Robert Ludlum, and five from Eric Van Lustbader.
The Bourne Legacy, the fourth installment of the masterful Bourne series brought in a cool $40.3 million during its opening weekend. Me and my good buddy Jake were among the masses of those who couldn’t wait to see how Hollywood would branch out the series that Matt Damon brought to the big screen.
Hoping to see this Jeremy Renner-led pic at the Uptown Theater, our first wave of disappointment came when we found out the Uptown would still be showing The Dark Knight Rises for a third week. So we opted for Regal Cinema’s Gallery Place/Chinatown location.
We started the early evening off with cigars at Shelly’s Backroom with some other friends. After enjoying a pair of Dominican Partagas Fabulosos, we then walked the six blocks to the Verizon Center complex.
Arriving just before show time to a packed house, we had to take seats near the front of the auditorium.
Because it had to retell a familiar story from a different angle, the beginning dragged a little. It then delved into a subplot of Renner’s Aaron Cross character being a super charged junkie in need of a fix; travelling half of the globe to get it.
Tony Gilroy, the new director, tried to do too much in this film. While Paul Greengrass (director of Supremacy and Ultimatum) was focus, albeit with no steady-cam, Gilroy jumps all over the place. Literally. From the Alaska wilderness scenes, to the murder-suicide in the government lab, to Manila shanties of the Philippines, it’s not focused.
Towards the end, there is the obligatory yet masterful chase scene. This is one of the highlights of the film. It is also something that the series is known for. But then the movie abruptly ends, setting it up for an obvious sequal. There’s no closure, no cliffhanger, nothing.
And what a travesty to hold Joan Allen’s Pamela Landy to very last minutes of the film before bringing her out? Of course, I now expect her to have a vital and pivotal role in the next installment, with her trial for treason.
Two and half hours later, we left somewhat disappointed.
To be fair, I did enjoy some of it. But I found it lacking. Yet I will likely see it again to try to pick up things I missed the first time around.