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.
Catherine Zeta-Jones knows how important trust is.
The new Mrs. Michael Douglas will star in the thriller "Trust," a project that is said by Daily Variety to be in the vein of 1987's "Fatal Attraction."
Originally a British miniseries, "Trust" will follow a lawyer living in New York who discovers that her psychiatrist hubby is having an affair with one of his patients.
KING OF THE 'CASTLE': "The Legend of Bagger Vance" helmer and actor Robert Redford might return to the front of the camera in "The Castle," a drama directed by "The Contender's" Rod Lurie, Variety says.
The project, which centers on an imprisoned five-star general as he rallies other prisoners into a mutiny, is also in discussions with Mark Wahlberg for a co-starring role.
'SHOW' TIME: Variety also says that Ethan Hawke, Carla Gugino and Frank Whaley have all signed on to the indie flick "The Jimmy Show," about a New Jersey guy who embarks on a doomed career in stand-up comedy.
Hawke's last screen role was in last year's "Hamlet" with Julia Stiles.
'BARK' IF YOU'RE HAPPY: Lisa Kudrow, Hank Azaria and Vincent D'Onofrio will star in the romantic comedy "Bark," Variety tells us. The film is about a young woman who has a nervous breakdown and believes that she's a dog.
'GUEST' LIST: "That '70s Show" dude Ashton Kutcher might star in the film "The Guest," The Hollywood Reporter says.
Kutcher -- who will be seen in the upcoming "Dude, Where's My Car?" alongside "Road Trip's" Seann William Scott -- would play a guy who tries to woo the daughter of his boss in the new project.
SHALL WE 'DANCE': James Coburn might join Cuba Gooding Jr. in the adventure pic "Winterdance," the Reporter informs. Based on the 1994 novel by Gary Paulsen, the story is an autobiographical account of the writer's participation in a gruesome dogsled race in Alaska.
Gooding will play the part of the dogsled racer and Coburn would play his estranged father.
LAST ROUND: Mykelti Williamson might play boxing promoter Don King in the "Ali" biopic, the Reporter says. The project stars Will Smith as the titular boxer and is expected to go into production next month.