Reel to Real: Surprised by the Legacy
Welcome back, movie lovers! How many movies did you go see this summer? I recently saw “The Bourne Legacy” and was pleasantly surprised.
I started off on the wrong foot by going into the theater having never seen the three previous Bourne movies.
My sole motivation for going to see this one was Jeremy Renner’s arm muscles. And the first 20 minutes of the movie were completely nonsensical to me. I was beginning to think I had gotten into something I had no hope of understanding without previous context. But then, the disjointed bits of the beginning began to tie together and I had a story that I could follow.
The plot wasn’t hugely interesting to me. There was a lot of specialized language, some of it scientific and some of it political, which made the story a little harder to follow. And there’s a definite need to suspend your disbelief. This movie has wolf wrestling, motorcycle chases and fighter drones aplenty. There’s so much testosterone in this movie that even ladies will leave the theater with 5 o’clock shadow.
What’s great about this movie is the characters. Jeremy Renner as Aaron Cross has personality. He’s conversational without being glib, friendly without being too trusting. Cross has excellent spy instincts, and creates and maintains false identities with charming ease. He attacks a pursuer in the middle of a crowd, knocking him unconscious, then starts calling for help for the injured man to create a distraction. After being shot at and stalked for the entirety of the movie, he only seems personally offended when the scientist, played by Rachel Weisz, tells him she has only ever known him as a number. “Five? Like, the number five?” he asks, miffed. “That’s what you call me?”
He has to teach Weisz the basics of being on the run, and the real tension of the movie comes from watching her present her fake I.D. to customs officers and airplane guards. She’s not an idiot, but she’s pretty shaken, and the pauses between her handing the fake passport over and being waved through feel endless.
That’s the best part about this movie – not the wild action scenes, but the ferocious anxiety-producing moments between characters that you’ve begun to feel real attachment to. Throw in Ed Norton as a CIA operative trying to have Cross wiped off the map, and you have some really good acting that brightens up a confusing and OK plot.