Monday, February 13, 2012

The Bourne Desperation gets a teaser trailer...

The most striking thing about this teaser (which premiered late last week) is that it's in fact a variation on an old joke my wife and I used to do back when The Bourne Ultimatum came out five years ago.  It's no secret that I kinda hate The Bourne Ultimatum, finding it to be a dumbed-down, streamlined, crowd-pleasing remake of The Bourne Supremacy.  But the goofiest part of the picture is the revelation that Jason Bourne wasn't just a patient in the Treadstone program, no, he was also involved in an even more secret and devious organization: Blackbriar (which, to be fair, was I believe referenced offhand at the finale of The Bourne Identity)!  So if the fourth film ever came to fruition, we'd inevitably see the reveal of yet another uber-secret government-sanctioned wet-ops program.  "If you were horrified by Treadstone... if you were mortified by Blackbriar... then you will shit your pants when you learn about Bald Eagle!!"  Bourne: "Oh my god... you turned us into half-human/half-robot killing machines!"  Reanimated Clive Owen: "Look... what... they (loading-loading)... make (Error!  Error!) you give!"  Sadly that absurdest bit seems perilously close to fruition with this new teaser for The Bourne Redundancy.  

The tagline "There was never just one" isn't quite as jolting as it's supposed to be, since the three prior films had at least a handful of Treadstone/Blackbriar/Cobra assassins.  But the teaser does seem to be promising yet another shocking reveal of yet another duplicitous CIA-backed hit squad, although such an idea is downright passe in an age when President (and Nobel Peace Prize winner) Barack Obama just uses drones to kill everyone.  Putting aside the cynical desperation at play at Universal's desire to keep this franchise alive (as opposed to merely adapting one of the other 23 Robert Ludlam novels), the film looks like a crisp and competent piece of genre filmmaking.  Director Tony Gilroy has two genuine directorial winners under his belt (Duplicity and Michael Clayton) and wrote all three prior Bourne films, as well as a handful of other genre pictures that I kinda love (State of Play, The Devil's Advocate, Extreme Measures).  The film looks to be edited in a cleaner, more coherent fashion more akin to Doug Liman's original as opposed to Paul Greengrass's 'put the film into a blender and randomly assemble the pieces'editing style.  The cast, which includes flavor of the month Jeremy Renner as 'not Jason Bourne', is filled out by a host of terrific actors (Rachel Weisz, Joan Allen, Edward Norton, Oscar Isaac , Albert Finney, Scott Glenn, David Strathairn, Corey Stoll, and Stacy Keach).  

Point being, I'd almost certainly be more excited for this one if it was an original or at least new franchise rather than an attempt to keep an old series alive past the point of expiration.  I can only hope that I can get past my own cynicism and enjoy the action when The Bourne Legacy drops on August 3rd.

Scott Mendelson          

1 comment:

obthavariable said...

Hey, "The Bourne Ultimatum" was the badass to end all badasses. Say what you want about "dumbed-down, streamlined, crowd-pleasing" but that movie firmly cemented Jason Bourne as John McClane's evil distant more-badass cousin, and that's saying something. Without it, "Quantum of Solace" doesn't make James Bond a psychopathic badass, and shaky-cam doesn't become every action director's favorite go-to desperation move. If not a great movie (which I believe it is), it was definitely a trend starter.

Beyond that, it'd be cool to see the embedded video...(not that I'm overly interested in it, though, but Oscar Isaac and Scott Glenn are a big plus to the movie)


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