FILM REVIEW: The Bourne Legacy
The writer of the first three Bourne films, Tony Gilroy, takes the helm for the reboot of the franchise as Jeremy Renner's Aaron Cross takes centre stage after the exit of Matt Damon's Jason Bourne.
The Bourne Legacy
Director: Tony Gilroy
Cast: Jeremy Renner, Rachel Weisz, Edward Norton, Scott Glenn, Stacy Keach, Albert Finney
The opening sequence finds Cross on a training exercise in Alaska, fighting off wolves and taking pills as he makes his way through the wilderness.
His training mission takes place in the immediate aftermath of the Bourne Supremacy, which saw Jason Bourne exposing secret CIA operations called Treadstone and Blackbriar, created for the purpose of training contract killers with almost superhuman abilities.
As the CIA scrambles to control the fallout from exposure, they start to kill off agents in other programmes before anyone finds out about them. Problem is Cross survives, and enlisting the help of Dr Marta Shearing, he must rush around the world trying to get the medication necessary for his continued existence as a super-agent.
Cue large-scale, quickly tedious action sequences that take the series to unexplored regions of the Far East and breathtakingly executed but yawn-inducing tricks on motorbikes in rush-hour traffic.
While Gilroy has shown success in his previous films, Michael Clayton and Duplicity, he lacks rugged, frenetic energy of direction.
Renner shows he has what it takes to carry an action film and he does well despite the lack of chemistry between him and the infuriatingly placid Weisz.
By the time the Moby track arrives signalling the end of the film just over two hours after Alaska, you'd be hard-pressed to figure out the mess of decoys and false leads the plot has thrown up in an effort to hide its failure to launch.
THE FLOWERS OF WAR
ZHANG Yimou, one of China's most talented filmmakers, has unwisely imposed a largely fictionalised story on the Japanese siege and destruction of Nanking in 1937-38 that resulted in the massacre of some 300000 civilians. Starring Christian Bale, the film is expensive and kitsch, contributing nothing of value to an understanding of these events. - The Guardian
DIARY OF A WIMPY KID: DOG DAYS
Director: David Bowers
THOUGH self-centred and conniving, Greg is a likable kid. The movie entertains by pulling off over-the-top scenarios that set up life lessons. - Rotten Tomatoes
THIS abortion-themed, faith-based drama mainly preaches to the choir. - Hollywood Reporter