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Bourne to run

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Mark Kermode Mark Kermode | 11:19 UK time, Friday, 10 August 2012

This week the new Bourne movie comes out - with no Jason Bourne but lots of running, jumping and shooting. Here I give you my verdict.

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  • Comment number 1.

    Thanks for the review, I was wondering what your verdict was going to be. Personally, I really do not know what to think until I've seen the film. Although from the reviews I've read and heard so far, I think I might just wait till it becomes available to rent on Blu-Ray. The film has studio cash cow written all over it, I mean how do you top one of the greatest cinematic trilogies of all time?

    Damon doesn't return, so they compensate by introducing another character from another similar assasination program, with added genetic modifications. As soon as I heard those words in the trailer, I was put off.

    But at the same time should Aaron Cross be given a chance? Should Jeremy Renner be seen as the successor to Damon? (after all he's probably ear marked as the successor to Tom Cruise in the Mission:Impossible franchise) I really want to say yes because its wrong to judge before seeing the actual film. But the inevitable comparisons will probably occur.

    Some people narrow their favourite Bond actor by naming which one they saw first, and to many Damon was the first cinematic Bourne (Richard Chamberlain played Bourne in a T.V. movie adaptation of The Bourne Identity)

  • Comment number 2.

    I've never particularly liked any of the Bourne movies to be honest, even though i know a lot of people like them. They got better as they went on and the 3rd one was by far the best of the bunch but just can't see what all the fuss is about.

  • Comment number 3.

    Two hours of running, jumping and shooting sounds like the Olympics to me.

    At leats the Olympics has great drama and no one needs genetic modifications to be a hero.

  • Comment number 4.

    One for rental me thinks.....

  • Comment number 5.

    Running, jumping and shooting? Which Olympic event is that? Bournetathalon?

    I may still enjoy this for what it seems to be. It's a shame they haven't retained the qualities that you've enjoyed in the trilogy, which also made them very enjoyable in my book as well. Hope the best bits aren't in the clips, but it looks like they may have at least kept that MacGuyver factor of how to survive in a sticky situation with available random objects (or how to kill with the contents of a typical Blue Peter project). If there's enough of that, plus Rachel Weisz, I'll be happy.

    Thanks for the heads up, expectations down-graded accordingly.

  • Comment number 6.

    Crumbs! Beaten to the punch on the olympic gag (damn you web page refresh)!

    At least I don't have a black ops van on the way to mine to silence the unfortunate narc who blabbed about our genetically modified olympians (#3).

  • Comment number 7.

    I only liked Doug Liman's one and a lot and that's mostly for Clive Owen's brilliant performance.

  • Comment number 8.

    I was never really invested in the Jason Bourne character, to me the Bourne movies were chase films with bits of plot shoehorned inbetween, so i'll give the new one a look.

    I tried watching The Bourne Ultimatum a few weeks back but had to switch off after an hour as the frenetic editing and shaky camera gave me a headache, so if Tony Gilroy can hold the camera still he'll be doing alright in my book. Most importantly Bourne gave the Bond franchise a much needed kick up the arse, so for that reason alone Damon, Greengrass, Gilroy thank you.

  • Comment number 9.

    Ahhh Mark, you have just said exactly what I thought this film would be. I adore the original trilogy. It's one of the few films that drifts massively away from the book but makes you okay with it. This film looked to be a stretch too far from the start and now you've confirmed it. I am sure it is nice visually but without a plot like the previous films that makes you want to think I'm left thinking - no I won't even go and see it. To me it just looks like Bourne meet Captain America meets Bond. Maybe wait and find it in a charity shop for a quid.

  • Comment number 10.

    I loved the Bourne Trilogy, and like Mr. Schultz (#7) I also thought Limans was the best. I feel like reminding everyone that these Bourne films are based on books, even this new one, and more importantly, The Bourne Legacy is a book that was NOT written by the original Bourne writer, so there will be huge differences in style.

    Of course, anyone who's read the original books and compared them with the trilogy will know that, really, there is no comparison. They're almost totally different stories and only share some minor similarities!

    Ultimately, it sounds like you're personal expectations are what let this film down (and I know that feeling!) So, now that I'm just expecting a brainless action film, I'm hoping that I might really enjoy it!

  • Comment number 11.

    Reply to #9 Luke Kuhns

    You're right about the Captain America connection. The genetic modifications are actually pills the assassins take.

    I've just read a review on the Empire magazine website. Dr. Kermode's review was leniant.

  • Comment number 12.

    I'm a little bit disappointed with the reviews so far. I was never really on board with a fourth Bourne, but as it drew closer I began to warm to the idea; the cast was good, the story seemed solid, and the trailers looked promising. Of course, I never really imagined it would reach the heights of the original trilogy, but I'd hoped for more than this. I'll check it out anyway, but my expectations are definitely lowered. (Then again, maybe that's a good thing).

  • Comment number 13.

    reply to #11 spaceodds

    Ah I will have to check that out then, cheers. There are times he is lenient where if it were me I would be slashing it ha.

    BUT I felt the urge to make one more remark.
    The posters keep saying "There was never just one" to which I have to say a resounding "duh!" We know this in the first film/book. That is no great secret.

  • Comment number 14.

    To be honest I thought that even the action itself was a bit flat...
    God tension, but really, aside from that cracking endless final chase, I can hardly remember a good action moment.
    Mark is right: not bad.. but certainly quite derivative

  • Comment number 15.

    I might just wait until the DVD release. boy, this summer's just full of disappointments (apart from the Avengers and The dark Knight Rises, which are both great films).

  • Comment number 16.

    Am I the only one who thought that the use of those shots of David Strathairn, Paddy Considine, Joan Allen in the trailer is a MASSIVE CHEAT?!?!
    What you see in the trailer is all you get in the movie!!

  • Comment number 17.

    It's interesting that it's apparently the running, jumping and shooting that remain in place whilst the plot has gone awol, since they've lost the director but kept the writer?

  • Comment number 18.

    Thanks Mark for you interesting point of view, however i'm still interested in seeing this. I absolutely loved The Bourne trilogy, one of my favorites alongside The Dark Knight and The Lord of the Rings trilogies, but i will consider The Bourne Legacy as some kind of a stand alone film even though it's tied with The Bourne universe. For some pop-corn kind of movie with running, jumping, shooting, whitout any dephts or smart plot (unfortunately), i may give it a shot. It won't be as good as The Dark Knight Rises or Prometheus but i may enjoyed it anyway

  • Comment number 19.

    Did anyone really think this was going to add anything to the original trilogy? Call me a cynic, but if a franchise is lucky enough to breath a few good breaths, that's as good as it gets. The rest just start to wheeze.

  • Comment number 20.

    I was a later-comer to the original Bourne films, only watching them when the third instalment was being primed for release. I think they are some of the finest action films of the modern era. In regards to The Bourne Legacy, I greeted it's conception with an audible "Hmm". I've only seen the trailer, but it seems to be almost look like a parody of the Liman/Greengrass films, in the sense that the protagonist disarms the 'baddie', and throws him into another 'baddie'. All very fast. Then he runs through an exotic location looking serious. I might check it out.

  • Comment number 21.

    reply to #13 Luke Khuns

    Good point. The programme had a number of operatives, hell it had Clive Owen! Can't believe I forgot about him!

  • Comment number 22.

    Saw the trailer ,got depressed,hope it bombs.

  • Comment number 23.

    One aspect of this saga the good doctor failed to mention was the performance of Jeremy Renner, who I first really noticed in 28 weeks later, and who then went on to totally impress in The Hurt Locker. Films come and go, but I've always found a stand out performance even in a mediocre film can still make it worthwhile.The jury's out on whether I'll shuffle along to see it, but I'll be interested to see how Mr Renner shapes up in this one.

  • Comment number 24.

    I'd rather watch Taken2 than this. At least it knows its daft.

  • Comment number 25.

    I saw it at a preview on Thursday and was underwhelmed.

    I genuinely don't see the fuss about the original trilogy, apart from the car chase through Paris in the first and the Waterloo Station sequence with Paddy Considine in the third film. The frenetic editing and hand-held cameras gave me migraines and the major departure from the plot of the original books (apart form the opening premise of Bourne having no idea who he was, there was very little of the character left intact) left me quite disappointed, so given that this new departure was by the author or the original script I didn't have high expectations.

    Thankfully the camerawork wasn't quite as frenzied - that said the rooftop chase which culminates in the scene at the end of Mark's video, and the climactic vehicle chase at the end are the only standout action sequences. The plot is nothing especially original and Edward Norton was criminally underused - I expected more of him given the film's marketing and there were hints of some interesting back story between his and Renner's characters which I assume have been left for a future sequel.

    Just another unnecessary franchise reboot, if you ask me - Cross is Bourne in all but name (with the twist that he knows who he really is but nobody else seems to, how original!), and the wafer-thin plot was just an excuse to get the action from one exotic location to another (echoes of the worst of the Bonds). My advice is, wait for the home release.

  • Comment number 26.

    Is it only me who finds the graphics on the trailer/poster VERY similar to the original Psycho?

  • Comment number 27.

    Bourne 4 = Bore...n 4.

  • Comment number 28.

    A Bourne film without Matt Damon in it? Ok so it's official then: Bourne has become a parody of itself. It's like when they kept doing Star Trek films as the actors' waist-lines got larger and larger, and their ageing was more and more difficult to hide with make-up. There comes a point when you just have to stop!

  • Comment number 29.

    I agree with Jon Shaxted....this is just a cynical attempt to cash in on the winning formula of the Bourne films.

    It won't add anything to a near perfect trilogy of action films and it's ludicrous to think it will (how about a Lord of The Rings IV - 'Revenge of the Uruk Hai'?).

    The only thing that would possibly have made it marginally worse would be if they'd tagged it as a bourne 're-boot'...a la Spiderman. I mean......why?!

  • Comment number 30.

    I am disturbed by something Dr. Mark said. I certainly hope the template for Bond does not change in a Bourne direction. I am hoping 'Quantum of Solace' was an isolated glitch.

  • Comment number 31.

    Are you (Mark Kermode) going to do a honourey blog video on the unfortunate passing away of one of the worlds best creative talents in Carlo Rambaldi?

    Be great if you could.:)

  • Comment number 32.

    Palimun - The Spiderman film is refered ot as a reboot because it is a reboot, complete with origin story. Your comment confuses me...

    Noctivagus - There were two (I think) direct lifts from Bourne films in QoS. I don't remember if there were any in CR (though the general tone and action was Bourne esque), but, er, S, or whatever it should be abbreviated to, appears, by my reading of the trailer, to feature a "did he drown or didn't he?" element...

    Of course, Bond even borrowed some of Bourne's crew on one or both of the last two Bonds. No idea about the crew on Skyfall.

  • Comment number 33.

    I've been quietly holding a flame for this movie. I like Michael Clayton a whole lot and the idea of a similarly intelligent alternate take on the previous Bourne story was always very intriguing. I'll still catch a viewing but consider my expectations suitably subdued.

  • Comment number 34.

    Just been to seen this film, and like you, Mark, I was disappointed with it. I really liked the three Matt Damon movies, but this one fell well short of the standard set by Paul Greengrass.
    It's biggest problem is its lack of action set-pieces. For a picture that is over two hours long, you would expect to see much more punching, kicking and shooting. Instead, there is too much of people looking at video screens and talking about stuff that you don't quite understand. And if you haven't seen the previous films then you will be totally lost. It's a really slow, ponderous movie that tries to explain everything, but just leaves you more confused.
    I like Jeremy Renner, but I don't think that he can carry a picture all by himself. He was excellent in movies like The Avengers and Mission Impossible GP, where he could work off a lead actor. He just doesn't have the charm or presence to do it alone. And there was absolutely no sexual chemistry between him and Rachel Weiss.
    I thought that the ending to the film was weak. The chase was too long, and I was expecting a fight scene between Renner and the Thai baddie. That should have happened.
    I can't see this picture doing well at the box office.

  • Comment number 35.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 36.

    This film is better than the Bourne Trilogy put together. If you care to disregard the obvious sentiment for Matt Damon, you will find this film more exciting, visceral and powerful. Renner's performance is rock solid and the motorcycle chase is the best yet.

  • Comment number 37.

    Common Mark, no need to sugarcoat this one. I just got back from a screening and the movie was complete garbage. As you pointed out there isn't any kind of compelling drama or conflict going on with the main character. His only goal is to get the meds, ok... then what? Absolutely nothing. Except of course for lots of running and shooting. This is where I disagree with your assessment. I thought the action scenes were terrible. The stunts seemed well choreographed, except they were impossible to fully appreciate since the filmmakers chose to cut away to a different shot every 3 seconds, and said shots were often shaky and way too zoomed-in to actually see what the heck was going on.

    Also, the underlying plot involving the CIA and all their amazing projects just gets a little ridiculous. I mean, there's BlackBriar, then Treadstone, then Larx, then who the hell cares!

    Seriously the only redeeming thing in this movie was Ed Norton. He's an amazing actor and he did his best with what he had to work with, which wasn't much (like every other role in the film).

  • Comment number 38.

    Oh God, this isn't good, like many of the comments above, the three original films are amongst my favourites and Matt Damon was as near to perfection in that role, as was Greengrass' direction. I can't kill the curiosity though and will go along (luckily to my very local cinema with no 3D or IMAX) and watch. Not much else out at the moment in my very humble opinion.

    Mark, I highly value your opinion but feel I have to give the film a chance.

  • Comment number 39.

    Honestly, this film bored me. The whole two hours should have been the first twenty minutes of a different film, one with a story. Given how good the original trilogy was (we watched them all again before seeing the Bourne Legacy), it was bitterly disappointing.

  • Comment number 40.

    I had reservations too having read most of the books and enjoyed all three films. I suggest anyone who has such reservations does go and see it. I nearly did not go but was happy that I did. It is a good film, particularly if you do not compare it to the others. The plot is quite clever, running alongside the last one but not referencing it too often. The beginning is a little slow and the end a little like other endings, no harm in that as I have watched many a good ending over again. The acting was good, overall it was an enjoyable afternoon. The books do tail off but I hope the films keep going if the stories can remain smart.

  • Comment number 41.

    I have to say I was really disappointed. As a stand-alone film it was okay with for a running, chasing jumping action flick. But where was the story? Or the character development? I have done a fun, slightly more in-depth review here:

    It's a real shame about this film, as it had real potential. The shadow of the outstanding trilogy possibly becomes too much weight for the shoulders of Tony Gilroy to bear.

  • Comment number 42.

    Only two running, jumping, shooting sequences that registered with me, really;

    the one at the house and the longer one near the end. The rest was blah.

    Is it obligatory for all Bourne and Bond films to include roof-top chases now?
    And Do assassins only ever carry out hits at Waterloo station.

    Well I must go off and take my meds now... The blue, the green ones.

  • Comment number 43.

    Saw The Bourne Legacy last night (lovely Clapham Picturehouse) and, overall, I genuinely enjoyed it (a 7/10), although it was let down by a terribly abrupt ending which left me, and particularly my fella, rather annoyed, undermining the chutzpah demonstrated overall. It was always going to be a tough 'intro' film for Jeremy Renner in this series - back story to fill in, trying to reinvent the franchise etc, and it doesn't match up to The Bourne Identity (still my favourite for its wintry European-ness) but Jeremy Renner puts in a good, convincing performance and suggests the vulnerability that Matt Damon also captured (Renner has the most wonderfully expressive eyes) and which is, I thin,k an important quality for these characters. The action sequences were suitably bone crunching and the final chase left my heart racing! Downsides: the near 'terminator' like quality of the assassin at the end didn't sit well after a bit; I would have liked to have seen more of the political machinations (eg more Landy / senate enquiries etc) which I think made the first 3 films richer; some more 'quiet moments' with either Renner by himself or between Weisz's and Renner's characters (they're both fine actors, the director could have employed their range more). So, not a good as the first three but definitely enjoyed it and hoping they make another with Renner to see whether, once the hurdle of introducing the new character has been overcome, Renner's character and the story can be developed in a more satisfying arc.

  • Comment number 44.

    bourne was the americans trying to take on BOND and for a while it worked the first 3 for instance, i regard highly, but when you introduce new ethics, characters, and meaning but give it the old name to *ahem associate it with the highly regarded, high grossing bourne trilogy, then you get this!! i wont ruin it for you all by telling you my personal greivences but i will say, if you loved the 1st 3 stay away!! i wish i had.......

  • Comment number 45.

    I had to wait until I saw the Legacy before making a comment. Now I can safely say what was missing.

    I saw the BOurne movies in sweden during one of my more lonely periods of my life, but Matt Damon was so loveable that I wanted to cheer when Julia Stiles smiles at the end of the ultimatum before Mobey kicks in.

    Jasson Bourne was essentially Will Hunting, an ordinary man with an extraordianry talent (maths, violence)he seems uncapable of dealing with these tsalents, falls through the cracks and doesn't know where he belongs. He is a human and thus a really great hero, not anti hero.

    Renne is a great actor but doesn't bring himself into the role, he neevr seems confused or hisitent. When he gets the girl he doesn't have a face of awe, "she's with me". He is Arnie but a better actor.

    Jason we will miss you


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