Do the Bourne movies make any sense? Enough. The first three films — The Bourne Identity Supremacy and Ultimatum — throw in just enough detail into the covert ops babble and high-speed action that by the end Jason Bourne comes out an emotional character with an evident mission. That's where Bourne Legacy drops the ball. A "sidequel" to the original trilogy Legacy follows super soldier Aaron Cross (Jeremy Renner) as he runs jumps and shoots his way out of the hands of his government captors. The film is identical to its predecessors; political intrigue chase scenes morally ambiguous CIA agents monitoring their man-on-the-run from a computer-filled HQ — a Bourne movie through and through. But Legacy has to dig deeper to find new ground to cover introducing elements of sci-fi into the equation. The result is surprisingly limp and even more incomprehensible.
Damon's Bourne spent three blockbusters uncovering his past erased by the assassin training program Treadstone. Renner's Alex Cross has a similar do-or-die mission: after Bourne's antics send Washington into a tizzy Cross' own training program Outcome is terminated. Unlike Bourne Cross is enhanced by "chems" (essentially steroid drugs) that keep him alive and kicking ass. When Outcome is ended Cross goes rogue to stay alive and find more pills.
Steeped heavily in the plot lines of the established mythology Bourne Legacy jumps back and forth between Cross and the clean up job of the movie's big bad (Edward Norton) and his elite squad of suits. The movie balances a lot of moving parts but the adventure never feels sprawling or all that exciting. Actress Rachel Weisz vibrant in nearly every role she takes on plays a chemist who is key to Cross' chemical woes. The two are forced into partnership Weisz limited to screaming cowering and sneaking past the occasional airport x-ray machine while her partner aggressively fistfights his way through any hurdle in his path. Renner is equally underserved. Cross is tailored to the actor's strengths — a darker more aggressive character than Damon's Bourne but with one out of every five of the character's lines being "CHEMS!" shouted at the top of his lungs Renner never has the time or the material to develop him.
Writer/director Tony Gilroy (Michael Clayton Duplicity and the screenwriter of the previous three movies) is a master of dense language but his style choices can't breath life into the 21st century epic speak. In the film's necessary car chase Gilroy mimics the loose camera style of Ultimatum director Paul Greengrass without fully embracing it. The wishy washy approach sucks the life out of large-scale set pieces. The final 30 minutes of Bourne Legacy is a shaky cam naysayer's worst nightmare.
The Bourne Legacy demonstrates potential without ever kicking into high gear. One scene when Gilroy finally slows down and unleashes absolute terror on screen is striking. Unfortunately the moment doesn't involve our hero and its implications never explained. That sums up Legacy; by the film's conclusion it only feels like the first hour has played out. The movie crawls — which would be much more forgivable if the intense banter between its large ensemble carried weight. Instead Legacy packs the thrills of an airport thriller: sporadically entertaining and instantly forgettable.
Despite the horrible attacks America suffered on the morning of Sept. 11, the Oscars will go on next March, Frank Pierson, president of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences told Variety on Tuesday. "The world will see an American tradition continue, and will take notice," Pierson said. "If we give in to fear, if we aren't able to do these simple and ordinary things, the terrorists have won the war."
The Hollywood Chamber of Commerce announced plans on Monday to expand a small USO center for members of the armed forces at Los Angeles International Airport into a 4,000 square-foot club called the Bob Hope Hollywood USO, the Associated Press reported.
American soul singer Issac Hayes will perform at Saint Hill Manor in East Grinstead, London on Oct. 21, in aid of the New York Fire Department, Reuters reports. Hayes will be joined by Jesus Christ Superstar star Carl Anderson and award winning film composer Mark Isham.
Major Charles Ingram, an army officer, was arrested on Monday evening--and is out on bail until December 4--after he allegedly cheated on the British quiz show Who Wants to be a Millionaire, reports Reuters. Ingram is currently locked in a legal battle with the makers of the show after they refused to pay him one million pounds in winnings.
Producer Tim Van Rellim has dropped his suit against producer Todd Black and attorney Alan Wertheimer over producing fees for the recent film A Knight's Tale. According to The Hollywood Reporter, Van Rellim has now named filmmaker Brian Helgeland as defendant, alleging that Helgeland agreed to assign to Van Rellim half the producer's fee, but deprived him of benefits and consideration under contracts.
Singer-songwriter Joan Armatrading was honored at Buckingham Palace on Monday, AP reported. The 50-year-old singer, became a Member of the Order of British Empire, at a palace ceremony with Price Charles.
Ewan McGregor and Heath Ledger began negotiations to star in the Ted Demme-directed film Nautica. The story revolves around a murder on a yacht, which is then retold through the eyes if three people, says to The Hollywood Reporter.
A signed, diamante-studded T-shirt used by Madonna on her latest Drowned World Tour, is expected to raise $14,500 when it's auctioned off on Oct. 22 at Christie's in London, reports Reuters. The item forms part of a collection of celebrity memorabilia, including Eton John's diamante suit worn at this year's Cannes Film Festival and sunglasses worn by U2 star Bono, to raise money for the Cancer and Leukemia in Childhood (CLIC) appeal.
Brill's Content magazine will be shut down as Brill Media Holdings and magazine publisher Primedia Inc. ended their partnership just six months ago, causing about 38 people to be laid off, reports Reuters. Brill Media will sell its media Web site Inside.com to Primedia, the publisher of Seventeen and New York magazines that had held a 49 percent stake in Brill Media.
The U.S. government is seeking to determine which online music ventures they will allow to distribute music over the Internet, reports Reuters. The Justice Department launched an investigation last summer of two industry joint ventures, Pressplay and MusicNet, which seek to provide a legal, industry-sanctioned alternative to song-swapping services such as Napster.