Director: Tony Gilroy
Starring: Jeremy Renner, Rachel Weisz
The Bourne series has been a very nice alternative over the years to the Bond franchise. While Bond was down in the dumps with Pierce Brosnan at the helm, Matt Damon took the role for the spy thriller and took over a genre that was struggling. The previous Bourne films were all great action films, with action sequences that aren’t rivaled by very many other movies out there. They are quick and to the point, yet they have a sort of sneaky smartness to them.
Now, with Damon gone, the franchise is being handed to Jeremy Renner, who plays Aaron Cross, a drug-enhanced human weapon. The plot line is basically that the secret program the government has been running (like every other movie like this it’s about trying to create the “perfect soldier”) is in danger of being revealed and ruined so the government naturally decides to get rid of any evidence. Of course Cross (along with Rachel Weisz’ Dr. Marta Shearing) are the last two pieces of evidence remaining around the midway point of the film.
Now, one can imagine that this leads to a few chase sequences and fights scenes that are just about as thrilling and well put together as the other Bourne films. There is plenty of action and Renner and Weisz do a fine job with the roles they are given.
If I don’t seem very enthusiastic it’s because I’m not. The film seems like it should be better than it is, and it has most of the ingredients that made it’s predecessors extremely successful and one of my favorite film series of this genre.
The fact is that this legacy is missing something. It’s a rather unbalanced film that doesn’t really have a beginning, middle, or end. I was ready for the film to go longer at the end (it already has a 2 hour 15 minute runtime) but I was also waiting for the movie to end at the beginning of the film, when there is a lot of cutting back and forth between Aaron Cross walking, climbing, running, and fighting against wolves in the mountains and government people doing secret government things.
I’m not going to say that this film isn’t worth a viewing, mostly because this has been kind of a weak summer for films and there is some pretty exciting things to see in this Bourne entry. It’s also worth seeing because of Jeremy Renner and Rachel Weisz, even if Renner doesn’t get many lines. He still brings an intensity to the screen better than most actors out there.
Overall, I’m lukewarm on this movie, but my appreciation of the series far outweighs the problems I have with this particular episode.
My Rating: 2.5 out of 5