The Bourne Legacy Directed by: Tony Gilroy Written by: Tony Gilroy & Dan Gilroy (screenplay), Tony Gilroy (story), Robert Ludlum (series) Starring: Jeremy Renner, Rachel Weisz, Edward Norton and Stacy Keach
The Bourne Legacy isn’t another installment in the shaky cam spy series as much as it is a thrown together money grab that uses the world. It takes place largely during the events The Bourne Ultimatum, where the U.S. government apparently was eliminating other super agents like Matt Damon’s Jason Bourne while also trying to track him down. Damon appears only as a mug shot, though, and the screen time largely belongs to Jeremy Renner.
Renner was a good choice to play Aaron Cross even if the movie, directed and co-written by Tony Gilroy, is way too long for what it’s trying to show. The biggest draw of the other Bourne films was how the filmmaking techniques were as efficient and fast-paced as its main character. In this movie’s almost two-and-a-half hour run time, there are long, unnecessary stretches that add nothing.
One of the most wildly talented performers working today, Tilda Swinton brings the utmost care to every movie character she portrays. Whether it’s glossy Hollywood productions like The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, intense indie grime like Julia or a seductive romance like the Italian drama I Am Love, Swinton truly transforms on the screen. She makes every character, no matter how weird and despicable, inescapably human. Often pidgeonholed as an Ice Queen after playing them (sometimes literally) in movies like Burn After Reading, Michael Clayton and The Chronicles of Narnia, the truth is that Swinton simply has more emotional range and capacity for risk-taking than anyone else currently working in her profession.
Michael Clayton-Movies like this don’t intend to become a showcase for acting, yet Swinton steals every scene she is in, Clooney be damned. As cutthroat corporate executive Karen Crowder, Swinton shows us a woman whose every ferocious stroke is driven by desperation. For every scene showcasing her aggressiveness, there is one that undermines it, including the legendary final showdown between her and the title character.
George Clooney is the essential American. The essential white American upper class male to be politically correct, because being politically correct is something Clooney takes quite seriously. His nature is calm, collected and suave, being as cool and crisp as a Labor Day afternoon. He delivers his lines with poetic insistence and looks at the other actors with sharpening charm. His onscreen talents are limited to a character that can match up with his own personality, but he plays them so damn well it doesn’t matter. Though his range is limited, he smartly remains diverse in his characters, avoiding becoming a one note pretty face actor like a similar storied Jenifer Aniston. After making his break for being a hunk on the hit show ER in the late 90’s, Clooney slowly evolved his career by working with Steven Soderbergh in the Ocean’s series and the Coen brothers along with other notable directors, turning his off-screen GQ cover aura into living characters with the same wowing affect. A handful of philanthropy efforts and notable directing, writing and producing jobs which won him awards. But lately, Clooney has brought back the kind of class movie stars used to carry and embody in the 40’s and 50’s. Though it may not appear so, Clooney’s talent is making it look so easy with the utmost esteem and adoration, making him the original class act of the new Hollywood. Continue reading →