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All I Want For Christmas Is Jeremy Renner
The Bourne Legacy (DVD)
Member Name: missrarr
The Bourne Legacy (DVD)
Advantages: Great pace, no over-reliance on CGI and a top cast carrying on a proven formula
Disadvantages: Struggling to think of any!
I am in love. His name is Jeremy. I first saw him in 28 Weeks Later and thought I loved him then, but now he's gone all brooding and stormy-eyed and shoots people a lot. At Christmas, please send him, in a bow and maybe some strategically-placed wrapping paper (family show, folks), for my enjoyment in 2014.
Until then, I shall be a very good girl. Afterwards, I'm promising nothing.
Yours in very advanced festivity,
***THE BOURNE LEGACY***
*Film Only Review*
The Bourne Legacy could be interpreted as a blatant attempt to cash in on the success of the Matt Damon-starring trilogy of films which basically came in when Bond was being all limp and naff and couldn't have pulled a girl with a martini if his life relied on it, and unexpectedly kicked the nation's action movie fans into touch and made them fall in love with cinema again. Because now, Matt Damon is all mega-starry and no longer best known for being a puppet in Team America that is just about capable of saying his own name - so he's far too busy to do the next Bourne movie.
The solution? Script a movie that takes place roughly at the same time as Bourne himself was last seen hightailing it around Manhatten on some important spy / anti-spy business and hire Jeremy Renner to do the action stuff.
For this, I am eternally grateful.
***THE BOURNE STORY***
Right. For the love of toast, don't read this if you haven't seen the first three Bourne movies and want to do so. Because in them are many examples of how to violently kill someone and you will probably want to do that to me.
Basically this is the fourth film in the series - the first three starred Matt Damon (sorry, in my head I still can't hear that in any other way than the Team America puppet's voice so you'll have to excuse the giggles) and we all based on the novels of Robert Ludlum. Bourne was a CIA agent who has monumental memory loss and ends up going up against the Government faculties who got him in that state in the first place. Not reliant on massive CGI effects, the films were really decent action movies and attracted a huge fanbase, so you can see the attraction of a fourth outing.
*Minor spoilers alert - unfortunately I would struggle to tell you anything about the film as these are quite fundamental - but if you really don't want to know then skip this bit!*
Jeremy Renner appears, bearded and looking a bit cold, up a mountain somewhere waving a firey stick at some wolves. He's Aaron Cross, another CIA operative who is part of a government experimental programme involving medical enhancement of human capabilities.
Problem is, Jason Bourne has been running around for a bit making life difficult for these suited dudes with their Government programmes with cool names, so they decide to shelve the lot - including the people in the programme. This very nearly takes out a dazzlingly youthful looking Rachel Weisz (also sporting a remarkably effective American accent) as a doctor in a lab shooting - but she's still a marked woman. Cross, being all manly and Jeremy Renner shaped and generally quite distracting, interrupts the second attempt on her life with the intention of using her to save his own back and also maintain his enhanced abilities. She admits she can help him - but they're on the wrong side of the planet and the tiny, insignificant organisation known as the American Government wants them both dead.
Cue the high jinks, fights, chases and shoot outs. And Jeremy Renner. Oh, Jeremy, you beautiful thing.
Did I mention Jeremy Renner?
***BUT SERIOUSLY, HE REALLY IS...***
Rachel Weisz as The Woman People Keep Shooting At & Edward Norton as Stressed Government Dude Who Sits In Meeting Rooms With Weird Lighting Set Ups and Glares At People A Lot (And Has Gone A Bit Grey).
Actually yes - I never saw this at the cinema as I did originally think it was probably just a way of making money (although once I'd heard of Renner's inclusion I was tempted - come on, I'm only female). But having seen it on DVD via Mr Rarr's Love Film account, I have to say it was a nice bit of escapism.
Like the previous Bourne films, this is a proper action movie. People get shot at / ride bikes at high speed after other people / break the necks of people who would have worn red shirts if they'd been in Star Trek. There's subterfuge. There's a dashing male lead (I might have mentioned that) and a (ridiculously lucky) female opposite. I did feel genuine tension and the acting from all three of the main characters is as sterling as you would expect from them. Weisz in particular was remarkable - Mr Rarr and I genuinely did have a "is that...no, it's not...yes it is, look at those eyebrows, no its not she's too young, and that's a real American accent....bloomin' heck, it is as well" conversation about whether or not it was really her. As a voice actress, the UK should be proud, and she looks remarkably young as well. All this contributes to making her less recognisable as "intellectual British actress Rachel Weisz", and more so as "severely put-upon American doctor with a blimmin' great Government trying to bump her off" - all good.
Renner - teenage crush asides, well, aside (and I'm old enough to know better) - is a great action hero in this. First of all, he looks the part (and then some) and also he has the right brooding intensity and whilst it is not blatant there is the suggestion of a relationship developing between the two characters even though originally he was basically hell-bent on kidnapping her to save his own skin - the development of this is really quite subtle and never comes across as clichéd, just a development of the two characters understanding their situation and that they are united against it.
Rachel Weisz is in my opinion one of the gems of the British film industry and as ever she is brilliant as well as stunningly gorgeous, whilst Edward Norton is well cast even though it is a far-removed shout from his Fight Club days. The supporting cast are all well-selected and do their jobs well.
In terms of pace, balance and style this is lacking in very little - there's not much by way of humour but to go down that route would be not only not in keeping with the previous Bourne movies but also would in my opinion be following Bond in its slightly clichéd Brosnan days, so I think playing it straight was definitely the right path. Also being a 12 certificate, it is not blatantly aggressively violent, so the fact that I didn't realise it was such a low-certifcation movie gives credit to the style and finish with which it is filmed - it has the feel of a really highly-produced action movie and as such fits in well with the Bourne series. The lack of CGI is a blissful thing - too many films rely upon it and to have some proper human action films in production is great.
In short I really enjoyed this, I found it engrossing throughout its duration and would definitely watch it again - indeed, I've told Mr Rarr to hold on to it so Mother Rarr and I can watch it together next week. This is in part because it means I can drool furtherly over the delightful Jeremy Renner, but this is not my only motivation - a truly enjoyable action movie with some great acting and not the cynical money-making exercise that I expected at all.
***THE USEFUL STUFF***
Duration 135 minutes
Available via Amazon from £7 in a variety of formats
Produced by Universal Studios
Directed by Tony Gilroy
Summary: A really great action movie without any over-the-top violence