This week, Daniel "Pinto" Gunderson reviews the movies The Bourne Legacy and The Campaign.
(Photo courtesy of Facebook)
Just like last week, this week I tackle two movies to review. The movies I saw this weekend were The Bourne Legacy and The Campaign. Both movies came with some high anticipation, one as a sequel to a trilogy and the other because of the cast.
The Bourne Legacy
The Bourne Legacy is one of those movies you see a preview for and go “Really?” Not because it is an action packed movie that is sure to draw thrill seeking junkies. It is because you thought the last installment of the Bourne trilogy was The Bourne Ultimatum.
Director Tony Gilroy decided to tackle a fourth installment of the series with a different actor playing the protagonist. The first three featured Matt Damon as Jason Bourne. This movie featured Jeremy Renner as a man named Aaron Cross.
Cross volunteered to be part of a project called Operation Outcome. The CIA takes agents and makes them into stealth fighting machines with little regret for their actions. While Cross is on a training mission, the CIA believes that Operation Blackbriar and the Treadstone Project will be exposed to the public. They make plans to destroy the project and everyone involved in it.
Cross barely escapes being terminated after meeting up with one of the agents after his training mission. Back in a lab, the CIA has brainwashed a scientist to kill all who are involved with the pills given to those participating in Operation Outcome. One scientist, Dr. Marta Shearing (Rachel Weisz), is the only one to survive.
The CIA goes to Dr. Shearing’s house, but before they can finish the job they are stopped by Cross. Cross is running out of pills, which help him sustain his high level of intelligence and physical capabilities. To try and stem the deterioration, Cross makes Dr. Shearing take him to plant in Manila.
Fun Fact: The movie is based on the fourth book in a series of ten books. The series was created by Robert Ludlum and has since been continued by Eric Van Lustbader.
What I Liked:
The violence in this movie, while quite extensive, is not as bloody as one might think. Movies, particularly action thrillers, tend to make sure you see much more than needed and leave nothing to the imagination. The Bourne series has never bought into that idea.
In this movie, like all the others before it, they rely on the audience being startled by the fear of sound. When one of the scientists goes crazy and begins to kill colleagues, you never see the actually killing.
You feel the anxiety of Dr. Shearing because she can hear the gun shots and footsteps. That is something that is lost if you actually see what is going on. It is a fresh, yet difficult concept that makes the audience come up with their own thoughts of what is going on through imagination.
What I Didn’t Like:
Obviously this movie has a built in fan base from the previous three movies, myself included. I loved those movies, but the reason I loved those movies was because Matt Damon played the Jason Bourne character to perfection.
It is hard to see Renner as the new Bourne or the new rouge agent. His personality does not fit into my idea of what the agent should be. He has too many emotions, he thinks on his morals too much and it just doesn’t feel the same.
What made Damon so great was that he played the character more as a machine and less as a man. I know that this isn’t Bourne, it is Cross, but it took me quite awhile to get over the fact that it wasn’t Damon continuing the tradition.
GO = Go See It!
This movie does not miss the point on what the first three movies established. It is fast paced action that has you walking away from the movie theater thinking, “That was fun!” These movies get your blood flowing and your eyes lighting up.
While I didn’t really like the idea of having to accept another Bourne like agent, Renner grew on me and by the end I liked the idea of starting the series over. He’s always been one of my favorite actors since seeing him in S.W.A.T.
It is a fun movie to take a date on or just view by yourself but it is one that I would definitely go see in theaters again.
A movie about a political race during the political season seems like a great idea, especially one that pokes fun at how politicians promise the world but rarely do. Throw in comedic geniuses Will Ferrell and Zach Galifianakis and you have the making of a very funny movie.
The premise is simple. Camden “Cam” Brady (Will Ferrell) is running for the District 14 House of Representative seat out of the state of North Carolina. He is hugely popular and running unopposed for the seat.
It becomes obvious very quickly that Congressman Brady doesn’t stand on the highest ground morally. He makes a call to who he believes is his mistress but gets the wrong number and instead leaves a very provocative message on the answer machine of a very conservative family.
They go the media with this information because of their disgust with Brady. A couple of wealthy businessmen, the Motch brothers, look to the 14th District in North Carolina to start up cheap labor type sweat shops. They realize that Brady’s chances of re-election are weak. So they chose another man to run against Brady.
Enter Marty Huggins (Zach Galifianakis), an unassuming dimwitted man who has a high level of innocence and a low level of intelligence. He is spineless, which makes him perfect for the Motch brothers to manipulate into doing what they wish.
Fun Fact: Director Jay Roach was the director of all three Austin Powers movies.
What I Liked:
If you don’t know this name by now, you haven’t seen any good comedies in the last two years. Jason Sudeikis is one of my favorite comedic actors and has been since seeing him Semi-Pro and What Happens in Vegas. He steals the show in this movie as well.
He plays Ferrell’s campaign manager, Mitch Wilson, in this movie and is the constant voice of reason to Ferrell’s amazing ability to go overboard when it comes to reacting to negative press. He plays the part flawlessly and his delivery of his lines is impeccable.
It is a small part and if you aren’t really paying attention, he may slip by largely unnoticed. While the movie concentrates on the two main characters Ferrell and Galifianakis, you cannot forget to enjoy Sudeikis and his comedic genius as well.
What I Didn’t Like:
Will Ferrell has officially lost it. You can only run something out there over and over again until you just get old of it. I have to admit, Ferrell’s antics have usually drawn laughs from me. However, this time around, it was just old.
To imagine his character in this movie, think of Ron Burgundy in the future with a better hair cut and no mustache. The jokes are cruder, but the attitude is the same. I’m the best and I know it. There is nothing that can stop me. It was funny in 2004, when Anchorman first came out.
It has gotten old and annoying in 2012. He just yells the first thing that comes to his mind and that is all well and good if it is original and funny. It just seems like they are a bunch of rehashed jokes that I’ve already heard a million times over. It’s not only boring but it isn’t funny.
F = Forget It!
Honestly, it’s not only Ferrell who lacks the comedy touch in this movie. It is largely the movie itself. Outside of Sudeikis, this movie seemed rushed. This would make sense considering it took them about four months to make the thing.
An 85 minute movie may seem like a short movie, but it is almost too long to suffer through this movie. The jokes get worse the cruder they get. It is like Ferrell is trying too hard to be funny, almost like he thinks it will come back if he keeps trying, it will come. Unfortunately, it never does.
If you like adolescent humor from grown men who rely on Jr. High humor to get us through this movie, enjoy. Otherwise, just skip this one entirely and wait for the next Will Ferrell movie. Hopefully, it will be better than this one.
Next Up: The Expendables 2