<Review by: Sailesh Ghelani>
Directed by Tony Gilroy. Starring Jeremy Renner, Rachel Weisz, Edward Norton.
I’m not a huge fan of the original trilogy but I’m pretty sure fan or not, you’re won’t like this ‘standalone’ instalment very much. Jeremy Renner is like cardboard and I’d rather have watched the whole movie with just Rachel Weisz.
‘There was never just one’ is what they’re selling this film on. Alluding to the fact that Jason Bourne – played by Matt Damon in the successful Bourne films, but he didn’t want to do this one; smart chap – isn’t the only super assassin the CIA has created. This big bad government organisation has been dabbling with altering human DNA so that a blue pill will enhance its operative’s brain functions and a green pill will make them physically superior. Aaron Cross (Jeremy Renner) is one such operative. But he’s about to be in for a rude shock when the CIA decide they have no choice but to shut down the operation i.e. kill off everyone associated with it.
Of course he manages to evade the crafty CIA head honchos, including Eric Byer (Edward Norton), who are in the background mumbling away about conspiracies and lots of technical mumbo-jumbo that leave you totally befuddled. Dr Marta Shearing (Rachel Weisz) is a bio-chemist, and she’s just in charge of ‘prepping’ so she pretty much wipes her hands clean of the whole deal when Aaron confronts her and eventually helps her evade imminent death since she ‘knows too much’.
Run, run, run is what you expect. But it’s all too drab, with everything taking too much time to build up. There’s loads of gobbledygook masking itself as intrigue that you’ll never understand. Jeremy Renner is an overrated actor in my opinion and doesn’t even have as much charm as Matt Damon has in his right pinky finger. He goes through the motions of an enhanced human but I think Jean-Claude Van Damme had more expressions/wit/depth in movies like Universal Soldier, also about genetically modified super assassins.
And really, I don’t think it was that difficult to catch Aaron Cross. There’s this huge chase scene on the streets of Manila as another covert super assassin called the Lorax (of course not, but who cares) or something is sent out to kill Aaron and Dr Shearing. He looks silly and there’s no background given for all of his jumping around like a monkey almost aping the T1000 from Terminator 2: Judgment Day. Oh my god this scene is so mind fuckingly bad it gives you a headache! And at the end of it all, it’s Rachel Weisz’s character that puts the evil assassin down. She should have been the next Bourne I tell you. She’s the only good thing in this movie that scarily has an ending that portends a sequel.
Ed Norton could have been replaced by anyone. In fact, someone with a bit more charm or wit considering the drivel he’s mouthing is so dry you’d need a all of the Great Lakes to moisten it to make it easier to fathom. And in yet another instance of music being used to make a film seem better than it is (like Total Recall) James Newton Howard needlessly amps up the volume but not the originality of his score.
PS: If you’d still like to watch the film in Mumbai then take part in our The Bourne Legacy Ticket Contest to win free tickets.