Friday, August 10, 2012
In Theaters: THE BOURNE LEGACY (2012)
(US - 2012)
Directed by Tony Gilroy. Written by Tony Gilroy & Dan Gilroy. Cast: Jeremy Renner, Rachel Weisz, Edward Norton, Stacy Keach, Joan Allen, Albert Finney, David Strathairn, Scott Glenn, Oscar Isaac, Zeljko Ivanek, Dennis Boutsikaris, Corey Stoll, Donna Murphy, Elizabeth Marvel, Louis Ozawa Changchien, Paddy Considine. (PG-13, 133 mins)
The films in the Matt Damon-starring BOURNE trilogy are arguably the most highly-regarded action films of the last decade. As entertaining as 2002's THE BOURNE IDENTITY was, it wasn't until 2004's THE BOURNE SUPREMACY, which found director Paul Greengrass taking over for IDENTITY's Doug Liman, that the series really hit its stride. The sense of handheld immediacy that Greengrass brought to his breakthrough film BLOODY SUNDAY (2002) translated beautifully to complex chase sequences that, for better or worse, changed the way action films were constructed and clearly influenced how the makers of 2006's CASINO ROYALE approached reinventing James Bond. That said, Greengrass' techniques aren't easy to imitate effectively, and a lot of action films that have followed in the wake of SUPREMACY and 2007's THE BOURNE ULTIMATUM fell--and continue to fall--victim to hyper-edited, overly-frenetic shaky-cam that renders a lot of the action incomprehensible and headache-inducing. A lot of people cite Greengrass as the culprit for the action shaky-cam phenomenon, but that's like blaming Quentin Tarantino for all the RESERVOIR DOGS and PULP FICTION ripoffs that flooded video stores in the 1990s. It's not Greengrass' fault that he's great at what he does and other filmmakers aren't.