Sunday, August 12, 2012

Movies of the Weekend: The Bourne Legacy and The Campaign

There is not enough of this action
The Bourne Legacy is tough movie to think about. This fourth movie ofthe series is part fan service for the prior trilogy and part attempt to introduce a new lead character for a new series. However, the createors seemed to forget what made the original films a fun and different take on the action hero.

The first thing missing is the action. Legacy is filled with scenes of people yelling at each other, yelling into phones and not much action. Worse yet, the characters yell about random code works such as "treadstone", "blackbriar" and "outcome" constantly without properly explaining them. As a reboot to the series, it is a mistake not to reintroduce us to the Bourne world. Having Ed Norton with a constant upset face yelling these three words in every scene is disappointing and confusing.

The other issue is the new lead, Jeremy Renner as Aaron Cross. He doesn't have a compelling story. I couldn't buy him as a hero, for much of the first part of the movie, he is a junkie searching for a fix. On his search for his fix, he finds and protects a doctor played by Rachel Weisz, and the two go on an adventure to find the cure for Cross's addiction. Not exactly a guy you want to ever cheer for.

The Bourne Legacy doesn't leave up to the legacy of its predecessors, the lack of action, the confusing story and the lack of a interesting hero, really made this a disappointment.

** Stars

The Campaign suffers from the same thing that has plauged most of the comedies released in 2012. It is only sometimes funny. Will Ferrell and Zach Galifianakis, the candidates running for congressman of the 14th district of North Carolina. Both characters are buffonish to the point where you can't believe at any of these men had any chance at successfully using the bathroom much less run a political campaign. There are some funny scenes, my favorite is whenFerrell and Galifianakis trash talk each other before their first debate. However, most of the scenes are just over the top silly and not very funny. The movie needed a straight man for one of the leads to play off. Two buffons riffing off each other just doesn't work.

There is potential for better comedy here, especially since Jason Sudeikis, John Lithgow and Dan Ackroyd are wasted as supporting characters. It feels as though there was more to the screenplay originally and was chopped down to fit the 85 minute run time.

** stars