‘Bourne’ to thrillBy Rito P. Asilo
Philippine Daily Inquirer
“Bourne Legacy,” the latest installment of Robert Ludlum’s anticipated film series, hits the ground running—and the action never lets up until its visually exhilarating finale. Jason Bourne (Matt Damon) is no longer “steering” the franchise, but you’ll hardly miss him, because the production and its characters make it a point to mention the elusive spy every chance they get.
At the heart of “Legacy’s” action is Aaron Cross (Jeremy Renner), who’s on the run after the CIA decides to burn its “Treadstone” and “Blackbriar” programs—and everyone who knows about it—to the ground.
The agency has decided to “decommission” its genetically enhanced operatives after information about its “morally indefensible but absolutely necessary” covert operation is leaked to the press.
Spies fall one after the other, but Cross proves to be just as slippery as Bourne. As the movie’s tag line conveniently pronounces, “There was never just one.” Now more than ever, Aaron needs the beleaguered program’s performance-enhancing pills to outwit and outrun his foes.
To get the drugs, with the help of Dr. Marta Shearing (Rachel Weisz), the sole survivor of the massacre of lab technicians responsible for the super soldiers’ medication, Cross has to fly to Manila, where they are being mass-produced—before he and Marta are outpaced by the killers who are hot on their trail!
Series of events
The film takes time to inform its redundant premise with a series of fast-paced, tightly edited “talking” scenes to establish a convincing series of events. While rife with edge-of-your-seat action sequences, it operates on a convenient but implausible raison d’être.
In fact, it’s hard to suspend disbelief that the agency can just as easily decide to get rid of its admittedly invaluable assets simply because they’re scared of getting exposed. After all, if they can manufacture performance-enhancing drugs, there’s no reason why they can’t make memory expungers to solve their problems altogether! —Besides, what will killing their own spies accomplish?
If great stunts are your cup of tea, the movie has heaps of them, including some of the most thrilling motorcycle chase scenes you’ll see in a Hollywood actioner—all staged in Metro Manila’s busy streets!
It also doesn’t hurt that the production has Renner, Weisz and Edward Norton helping “create” an atmosphere of believability and logic that helps viewers disregard the ambiguous, even cryptic circumstances surrounding the characters they’re playing. To prove a point, it’s hard to imagine Aaron and Marta developing romantic feelings for each other as bombs and bullets go off around them—but, their conviction helps “sell” this far-fetched notion.
As for the Filipino actors cast in small roles, it’s Lou Veloso who makes the most of his scenes (while earnest, some of them are compromised by their scenes’ “defective” situations). Just the same, the sight of them enthusiastically going through their thespic paces makes you proud of their participation in the movie.
For Pinoy viewers, the biggest thrill in watching the action-packed film is derived from watching Manila’s underbelly captured in all its unflattering grease and grime, juxtaposed with breathtaking images of Palawan’s lush, green isles!
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