Itâ€™s quite the conundrum. Usually, late summer releases are usually reserved for movies that are afraid to compete with the likes of Avengers or TDKR. And not that The Bourne Legacy is at their levels at all. This one is much, much better.
A film that successfully pulls off a suspenseful slow start is one after my own heart. Buildup to powerful action sequences makes those scenes all the more entertaining; itâ€™s the same as what is often said about food: â€œHunger is the best sauce.â€ And the Bourne Legacy slathers it on thick, unlike last weekâ€™s critical failure, Total Recall.
Itâ€™s interesting to note the filmâ€™s allegorical relationship to government-run pharmaceutical corporations. This negative portrayal is confused, however. The villains of the film arenâ€™t portrayed as evil or especially despicable in any way. But wait, if government-run pharmacies are evil, shouldnâ€™t the antagonists who are government officials be evil?
Yet, this is a slight mistake that pays off. Thereâ€™s a certain antagonist who doesnâ€™t appear to earnestly be evil and that characterâ€™s actorâ€™s performance benefits from this complexity. That antagonist is played by Edward Norton. If youâ€™re not impressed already, watch his performance. Norton manages to play a person who shows very little emotion besides exasperation, but still manages to convey a subtle inner monologue to the filmâ€™s audience through facial expression. It rings even more true than if he sat down and had a heart to heart with the viewers.
Thereâ€™s a certain anti-climax involving an oddly T-1000-like, last-minute rival assassin. Heâ€™s the Sabretooth to Hugh Jackmanâ€™s Wolverine in this case. But since his impact on the plot and his ultimate resolution is lacking and abrupt, it comes out as being a lot less satisfying than even X-Men Origins: Wolverinesâ€™ ending.
So, yes, this movie is pretty good. Itâ€™s not perfect. Yet, itâ€™s appropriately far enough away from perfect. You can sort of appreciate its imperfection. And really, isnâ€™t that the sign of a good film.