Thursday, August 9, 2012

Dead On Arrival

The Bourne Legacy       WWW Score: 60%

In all my years of attending press screenings, I can't recall the last instance of what transpired roughly midway through The Bourne Legacy. A young couple - seated in my row - hit the road, strolling right out of a free screening.

Now it takes something pretty noxious to create an uncontrollable desire to leave a theater rather than finish what you've already invested an hour in - not to mention, paid zero for. And as flabbergasting as this may be to read, The Bourne Legacy is indeed just that, toxically bad.

Opening in Alaska with one of the least impressive action character introductions ever, Jeremy Renner takes over the franchise reboot as Aaron Cross AKA "Outcome 5", another of the CIA's brainwashed badasses trying to figure out who he actually is and why in the heck everyone is trying to put dude down like a dog.

After mushing about the 49th state for the first 45 minutes of the film, Cross makes his exodus to meet up with Rachel Weisz, a genetic scientist who's been feeding Cross' need for pills. Not just any pills mind you, one blue and one green - très Matrix-esque - to keep the government assassin on top of his killing game.

Roughly one hour into the film's interminable 135 minute runtime, Tony Gilroy - moving into the director's chair - finally gives us a taste of Cross' fists of fury as the pitbull single-handedly picks apart a team of CIA ops attempting to off Weisz. It's indistinguishable from what Matt Damon did three times before though Renner displays the requisite gravitas to handle the role. It's not Renner's fault the script is a heap of dung.

Between the unceasing talk of genetic-enhancing drugs and CIA honcho Ed Norton's tedious attempts to track down where in the world Cross is, Gilroy's screenplay lumbers along with massive breaks between what we came for: action. Heck, the entire exercise is nothing but Cross' mission to get his mitts on a pill refill.

Thrilling.

Whatever plans Universal had for a sequel are on indefinite hold - word of mouth is going to kill this thing. It's a real shame, Double Crossed would have been a smashing title. Although I must say, Crossed Out has a nice ring to it.