The Bourne Legacy (2012)
It helps to appreciate the intertwining plots of The Bourne Legacy with the first 3 Bourne movies if you had the foresight, like me, to watch them all again continuously within the past few weeks. Otherwise, you would just be like my annoying seatmates in the theatre who felt lost in a sea of flashbacks and side stories, something Jason Bourne would have understood himself. If you’ve seen the past 3 movies or at the very least understood what it was all about when it was first shown, you would recall that the main theme of the first 3 movies are amnesia, passion, and, to a certain extent, revenge.
But I have to be honest, as an action film, this fourth installment with Jeremy Renner isn’t as cut-out as it was supposed to be. More so, it wasn’t as cut-out as I hoped it would be. Given the trailer boasts of this new agent as a mutated human being and had the curse of being shown after The Avengers & The Dark Knight Rises, I expected something more, uhm, monumental.
The Bourne Legacy was successful enough to narrate another piece of the puzzle while Jason Bourne went his way on the other side of the planet. The Bourne Legacy was successful enough to show how Manila would feel like sans the actual craziness of our streets. To put it in perspective, it’s like shooting a movie in New York, but deciding to spend all of the time in Queens. There’s Manhattan, or Staten Island, or the suburbs, but they chose a spot only a few citizens of my country would even dare to tread.
But maybe it is because I expected too much. Or maybe because since the last 20 minutes of the film was shot in my country that I got too saturated with the TV coverage the biggest Hollywood movie the Philippines has ever come to act as a backdrop for has received locally. They say there’s nothing like too much PR. In my honest opinion, this might as well be the first case.
Worse, maybe I just saw too much of the thrilling chases and stunts in the trailers and the video clips that they already released on YouTube. Maybe it was their fault why they gave too much of a peek about the storyline. I understand the frustrations and the fears and their desire to ensure that this movie would become a hit. But if they only understood the Philippines, the Filipinos, they need not show all the gritty skylines and jeepney rides gone wild just to make every Filipino’s heart skip a beat. Filipinos will watch this movie in droves just because. Metro Manila just recently survived a deluge and yet the 4:15 PM showing of this movie was jampacked. Some of my friends already watched this last night. It’s like nothing happened this side of the planet. Everyone just wanted to watch this highly anticipated movie!
If the Bourne Legacy was just a primer, a teaser, of greater things to come, I feel they should have raised the stakes higher as early as now. This movie already had a lot of questions, a lot of doubts. To make it twice as fun and twice the action would have been worth the risk. That being said, even with the storyline that Aaron Cross is a “mutated spy,” everything is realistic in this film. Well, except the real state of Metro Manila traffic.
The first 3 Bourne Films was all about a great agent going out of control and a government group who wanted to annihilate him. A fourth movie of the same storyline isn’t much help to up the ante. To be honest, it actually feels tired as a plot. Aaron Cross aka Kenneth Gibson, this Outcome agent, should have been asked to do something more. The threat should have been bigger and more diabolical.
If Jason Bourne was just the tip of the iceberg, the Bourne Legacy, I’m afraid, still cannot sink the Titanic.