I’m not going to beat about the bush like in most reviews where conclusions are drawn at the end, I’m going to start out by saying I had low expectations for this and frankly they were met.
I’m told that the previous Bourne stories have been pretty good. Well all I know for sure is that the first one is good; the other two were literally unwatchable for me due to shakycam. Though this method of camerawork is absent from this film, there’s plenty more missing; most significantly – characters. Oh and decent plot, direction and dialogue.
It seemed like at no point did the film attempt to connect with its audience, never really offering something to latch onto, care about or understand. There seems a lot of fuss and faff over the possible leaking of their super soldier programme and so on but you have little idea who anyone is or why we should care.
We then start following Aaron Cross around the Alaskan wilderness which proves to be far too slow and uninteresting for you to care in the slightest about him or whatever is happening at the meeting point where he meets up with a handler. This really might have worked if they’d have just simply got on with it a bit.
After it just about establishes what our protagonist is aiming to achieve we’re still not really rooting for him that much as he’s not really shown much personality thus far. Rachel Weisz tries her best to inject some life into the scientist she plays but there really isn’t much to keep us interested in the quest to get more pills for Aaron.
There’s a fair bit of running, jumping, shooting and punching but without anyone to care for it’s just a load of flash and noise. It really doesn’t happen that often and when it does it’s often not that well shot. Admittedly Jeremy Renner does manage the physical aspect fairly well but without the human element of the character that made Matt Damon’s Bourne so compelling it’s all for naught.
Ed Norton’s government agent just somehow really irritated me. Only appearing to moan about something and send people out to get the heroes. The character just felt bland and like many millions we’ve seen before. I dare say that there’s not an awful lot you can do with such characters anyway. But at least one line of snappy dialogue would help.
There’s a 5 to 10 minute chase scene on motorbikes at the end of the film, set in Manilla, Korea and it so rarely shows anything other than a close up of the bikes that it could have taken place anywhere. The lack of perspective on what’s happening ruins any excitement that might be had.
Oh and speaking of this final chase, it’s meant to be a super elite agent after them but he never seems particularly effective. Handy though for the film makers that he’s had his emotions removed as that stops them again having to write any characterful behaviour into him. They could at least have had him squaring off properly against the hero but you never really get to see him properly in action, which is disappointing.
So yes that’s it basically. Rarely have I squirmed in my seat and wanted to leave the cinema so much but it’s dedication to seeing the whole of a film that made me stay. I wasn’t the only one though, there were plenty of people yawning and stretching in the audience. It really didn’t seem to be playing well with anyone. Quite probably the worst film I’ve seen this year.