The Bourne LegacyDirector: Tony Gilroy, Universal Pictures, Rated M, 135 mins
Tony Gilroy, the renowned screenwriter for the three Bourne movies (2002-07) has now taken on the director’s role with his creation of a Bourne like character that sees The Avengers’ Jeremy Renner playing Aaron Cross, replacing the charismatic Matt Damon as Jason Bourne.
In some respects the opening scenes in the The Bourne Legacy suggest a continuation in the hunt for Bourne following the climactic conclusion in The Bourne Ultimatum with photos of Bourne (Matt Damon) appearing on news bulletins but in Gilroy’s resurrected rendition of the franchise he opens the chapter on new covert operative (Cross) on the run who is being hunted in the snow-laden forest of Alaska.
This time another secret government agency headed by Eric Byer (Edward Norton-The Incredible Hulk) is out to shut down both “Treadstone” (involving Bourne) and “Outcome”(connected to Cross) before their clandestine activities are fully exposed including assassinating Marta Shearing (Rachel Weisz-The Mummy) a scientist whom Cross dramatically rescues and needs in order to maintain his super-performing abilities through the special drugs that she has provided him - requiring both to travel to the supply plant in Manila.
In his attempt to provide a new face to thefranchise Gilroy has been unable to duplicate the great appeal and excitement in the earlier movies including having Jenner replace Damon whose compelling character portrayal remains a major highlight of the highly successful series.
At the same time this does not detract from the engaging storyline and exhilarating performances of Jenner and Weisz or that of Norton.
Ultimately it will be left to the audiences to judge whether Gilroy’s movie will have a future in carrying on The Bourne Legacy.
VIC'S VERDICT: 3 ½ Rubber Stamps
Total RecallDirector: Len Wiseman, Columbia Pictures, Rated M, 118 mins
Underworld producer and director Len Wiseman has remade Paul Verhoeven’s cult classic of the ‘90’s with his somewhat fanciful rendition of the sci-fi adventure Total Recall featuring Fright Night’s Colin Farrell as the factory worker Doug Quaid and Underworld’s Kate Beckinsale (Wiseman’s wife) as Lori Quaid, a police officer on the payroll of the cruel Chancellor, Cohaagen (Bryan Cranston - John Carter).
After revealing to Lori that he has been to the dream factory called “Rekall” where memories are replaced, Quaid finds himself fighting his wife and fleeing from his home with Lori in hot pursuit as she calls for police back-up.
Set sometime in the 21st century the world is divided between those who live in the overpopulated United Federation of Britain whose autocratic chief is Chancellor Cohaagen while the poorer members of society inhabit the Colony which appears as an outline of Australia with the only way to commute to Britain being via a supersonic elevator through the Earth’s core.
Not knowing his real identity Quaid teams up with Melina (Jessica Biel-The A-Team) a member of the resistance who tell him that his real name is Hauser, a leading protagonist against Cohaagen’s regime.
Despite some great special effects and portrayals by the leading actors (Farrell and Beckinsale) especially from the beautiful Beckinsale who delivers a powerful performance in her role as a “no take prisoner” police officer, Wiseman’s version still does not quite stack up to the original, somehow lacking in the excitement and settings stakes but still considered a reasonable remake of the 1990 classic.
VIC'S VERDICT: 3 Rubber Stamps
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