Friday

REVIEW: The Bourne Legacy - Photos & Trailer

Movie Review Lite - a few personal observations and photos you've not seen anywhere else before:
The Bourne Legacy: "There Was Never Just One. The Chinese poster I adapted to English.
Based on Robert Ludlum's novels, The Bourne Legacy is centered on a new covert operative, Arron Cross. Carrying the baton for Matt Damon is is the phlegmatic yet highly engaging Jeremy Renner (see The Hurt LockerThe AvengersMission Impossible 4 - Ghost Protocol).
The Bourne Legacy - The New Uber-spy supplanting Jason Bourne 
From the opening scenes to the final chapter, The Bourne Legacy is charged with energy, intrigue and substantive doses of biogenetic engineering. Echoing from the past, I was transported the moment the buoyant silhouette of what I mistakenly assumed was Jason Bourne flashed upon the screen. The ambiguity was intentional and ever so effective - it pulled me in from the start. No spoilers here, but it was a masterful stoke to launch Arron Cross and the highly successful Bourne franchise.

Jeremy Renner rises from the icy depths and begins the next generation of "Bourne" agents.
The Bourne Legacy (as with the all Bourn films) began with the premise that with the world's demand for better weapons and soldiers, multitudes of secret governments and quasi-government programs have been incubated to accommodate those needs but whose billion dollar coffers enjoy scant oversight. It doesn't take much of a stretch to project a plausible storyline where good intentions meet power-hungry bureaucrats culminating in lethal consequences. You think far fetched? Director Tony Gilroy doesn't think so, and makes a plausible case.
A House Warming Gift from Friends...
I'll grant you, I'm not all that convinced about the surreptitiousness of it all, but one such organization, The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), does perform comparable research for the U.S. Department of Defense. They are in business of developing the sort of cloaked programs that are on a parallel with Bourne’s world - now entrusted to Cross. We're not talking merely about high-tech weaponry and robotic prostheses, but extraordinary advancements in neuroscience.

The Bourne Legacy - Jeremy Renner taking aim.
The aim of this neuroscience, as it relates to advancing defense, is to design a stronger warrior. When perfected, such research will reduce battlefield stress, hasten learning, improve analytic capabilities and engender trust. All the characteristics which now exemplify Arron Cross. All except possible the latter, which is a good thing or we would have never been given the opportunity to see Cross in action. And what gripping action it is!
Some people just don't like it when you share secrets. 

How exactly all this science and commotion play-out is what makes The Bourne Legacy such an exciting ride. However, as much as I enjoyed the intrigue, the writers (Tony Gilroy and Dan Gilroy) did not make it all that clear what certain disaster would befall such covert programs should the general public become aware of the glitches they are so violently desperate to conceal.
Are we Americans so naive that we cannot tolerate imperfections in something as necessary as developing better weaponry? Are we so politically gullible that we'd jump to conclusions and vilify the elected officials ostensibly in charge? Oh, now that I've actually expressed my incredulity, I can see at what the Gilroy's were getting. My bad.
Jeremy Renner and Rachel Weisz make for good chemistry - in more ways than one...
As to the the characters, I was excited to see a few actors return: Joan Allen, Albert Finney, Scott Glenn and David Strathairn, though I am lamenting the loss of hotty Julia Stiles. The film's cast includes the addition of one of my favorite actors, Edward Norton. Other newcomers to the franchise are Oscar Isaac, Rachel Weisz, Stacy Keach and Midnight in Paris's Corey Stoll.
Arron Cross dropping-in unannounced. 
An additional newcomer for me, Louis Ozawa Changchien, though having no speaking part, was spectacular in his role as LARX #3 (no worries, I will not divulge his significance). I am hoping to see more of him in future Bourne films, and appreciate Gilroy's direction of leaving the possibility in play.

Just a couple of my favorite lines:
  • Jason Borne was just the tip of the iceberg.
  • He's Treadstone without the inconsistency.
  • You were given a Ferrari and your people treated it like a lawnmower.
  • You need to start to consider the magnitude of what we're facing if this movies sideways on us.
The Bourne Legacy -  A Few of My Favorite Characters Return Plus a Couple More
So for all my excitement and praise, why 4.5 stars and not a solid 5? I really cannot say, that is without spoiling the ending. Suffice it to say, my slight disappointment was a combination of not wanting the thrills to end and that it did so too abruptly for my tastes.

Sure, we arrived at a good pace, but while we were catching our breath for the next set of twists and turns to come, it was over. My wife and I looked at each other and blurted, "What?" It was as if we quickly understood where we were going and enjoyed the journey, but were expecting something more afterward - an aspect we did not foresee and was to be our reward for our foresight. But none was to come.
A motorcycle ride she will never forget - nor will we.

Yes, I know the plot was left open for the sequels to come, but had The Bourne Legacy given us that something extra beyond the obvious, I think it would have catapulted us into greater heights and crafted an even more fulfilling conclusion. That not being the case, The Bourne Legacy is still a must see on my list and is no slouch at 4.5 Lenses.
4.5 Lens Review

I've attached a few more photos below...

Mark
©Photosical - the photographic and personal observations of Orange County Photographer, Mark Jordan Photography

Nothing like a nice hike through the frozen tundra to get your blood circulating. 
Coworker going postal or is he?
Is it any wonder why America has not signed the Kyoto Protocol?
Doesn't appear others are all that concerned about curtailing "global warming"...
Now here's a camera angle you don't see every day. 
Getting to know each other - trust can be a challenge.
"Hmm, I don't think I'm the first genetically enhanced spy to sleep in this bed..."
The Bourne Legacy - There Was Never Just One 
Mark
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