Let’s begin with the end in mind. The credits rolled on The Bourne Legacy and R, a good friend of mind, noticed her ring slipped off and fell to the ground. Her ring, in fact, is a thin, silver ring going with two other thin, silver rings. It’s one of those loose, puzzle sorts of rings R plays with during conversation. In this case as we conversed about the movie itself.
You have to imagine the scene about to unfold.
“I lost my ring,” said R. I saw the other two bands and remembered what the lost item looked like on its own. While the credits switched to the films signature score, we searched our seats, with R actually heading to the next row to see if the ring rolled down. The movie theatre remained dark, the score played as I looked among our seats, resisting going down on my knees until absolutely necessary.
We could have waited until the theatre lit up, but the task sucked us in with singular focus. R lost a previous ring in another theatre and did not want to repeat history. Plus the score made it sound like we searched for a priceless object, a secret key to bringing down shadowy government conspiracies. The thought took me on a short flight of fancy. The longer flight consisted of me squinting my eyes in the dark, wishing for a few chemical enhancements as discussed in the movie like:
- Perfect eye sight with an ability to see in the dark. Then again I will take 20/20 vision without surgery.
- A faster metabolism. The kind melting off the pounds accumulated by stress eating during my job search, and melting off any future pounds.
Don’t laugh. In a Q & A at AMC theatres before The Bourne Legacy release, a fan girl innocently asked Jeremy Renner what he would like enhanced. When I say ‘innocently’, the young woman wrote on a message board assumed he would want a little more height. (He’s 5’10 ergo ‘short’ in comparison to other leading men.) I saw the Q & A live on the internet while on holidays. He looked down at his lap, smiled, then looked up to the audience and said, “pass.”
“Typical guy,” I replied to my computer screen.
Sorry for the digression, we now return to our unusual review already in progress.
The movie theatre lit a few lights once the credit began rolling. It was not enough to find a thin, silver ring. I needed more light. I unslung my Mountain Equipment Co-Op Pod Pack, took out my cell phone, and turned it on. Like Aaron Cross in the movie, I had to improvise with what I had on hand. The difference? I didn’t maim someone with it. However, R and I still had the kick-ass score.
The cell phone did cast enough light. I remembered something else in my bag that did. I fished around my Big Pod again and pressed the button on my iPod touch. I shined the thing like a flash light around our seats, R was a row below, and both of us searched based on a guess as to where the darn ring rolled. I went up a row, shined the iPod touch light a little closer down, behind our seats.
The bluish light caught the silver glint of the ring. I told R, gave her my pack and lowered myself down with my iPod touch in one hand, and got the ring with the other. Almost on cue, as the retrieved ring joined its mates on R’s finger, the score ended as the last credit rolled, and the theatre lights fully lit up. Yes, it was enough to find the ring itself. The focused search, plus the soaring score, just made this scene funny enough to include the following exchange:
Me: Do you mind if I blogged about this?
R (Chuckling): Go Ahead
Thus ends The Bourne Digression. How was the movie? I hear readers asking.
For the umpteenth time, in response to the most redundant statement probably taxing the patience of a saint, never mind its lead JEREMY RENNER DOES NOT PLAY JASON BOURNE. He plays a new character, named Aaron Cross, a product of another program called ‘Outcome’.
Outcome agents get chemically enhanced through viruses, therefore increasing their physical agility and cognitive function. Early in the movie, as Cross checks his supply of ‘green’ (physical) and ‘blue’ (cognitive function) pills, I couldn’t help think the Aaron Cross character is like this Alice-in-Wonderland sort of character. In this case, the rabbit hole is a mine explosion in Iraq, Edward Norton plays the Queen of Hearts, and things are pretty lethal in this wonderland. In a nutshell: Aaron Cross was once Kenneth Kitsom a grunt with added IQ points to help a recruiter make quota. Cross knows who he is, how he got there, and how far he will fall if off his ‘chems’.
Remember writing about Edward Norton as this story’s Queen-of-Hearts character? He doesn’t say ‘Off with his head’, but an equally deadly order of ‘burn it all to the ground.’ It means getting rid of agents and scientists. Rachel Weisz plays a scientist who survives a harrowing work place shooting, only to find herself hunted down along with Cross all the way to Manila.
So how did the movie turn out?
Overall it’s a fun, popcorn film with just enough plot and action keep people interested. Sometimes I wondered if the movie busied itself so much with distancing itself from Matt Damon and Jason Bourne it didn’t allow its lead to establish his own ownership on the film. I have to give Tony Gilroy props of developing a romantic relationship without developing a romantic relationship. Shearing and Cross get together out of dumb luck and pure desperation. At the end audiences get an inkling of something more going on. (That might me bad news for Dr. Shearing. See The Bourne Ultimatum to see what I mean.) All Gilroy used was two hands touching to communicate the extent circumstance drew these two characters together and something else has taken root.
Much like this blog post, the film does start to lose steam towards the end. The motorcycle chance, while quite intricate and exciting, gave us an assassin with not enough time to establish himself as a character. (Remember Karl Urban and Clive Owen has enough screen time to draw audiences into their role in the plot. A few times the motorcycle chase scene seemed a little too much like Terminator 2. The bad guy, enhanced himself to not feel any emotion as opposed to Outcome agents, seems to pop up like nothing happened. Hopefully, once a sequel to this film gets green lit Renner’s character can take front and centre of his own arc and Gilroy can hammer out the flaws from this one. File this under ‘wait and see.’