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The Bourne Legacy


The Bourne Legacy will go down as a misnomer. People will go, "Hey, it says 'Bourne' in the title, but Matt Damon only appears in a passport photo that was clearly taken circa Good Will Hunting."

What a dorky haircut.

Yes, this movie can be considered a misnomer. For the following reasons:

1. It is technically a spin-off.
The Bourne film trilogy was based on the series of books by Robert Ludlum. These books, in order of publication, are The Bourne Identity, The Bourne Supremacy, and The Bourne Ultimatum, which are also the titles of the three Bourne films.

Legacy, however, is not based on a book by Robert Ludlum, but by Eric Van Lustbader. In the books, Legacy is in fact the first of currently seven spin-off novels, and I think we can safely predict that the next film in this franchise will be titled The Bourne Betrayal. Meh.

Notice how Ludlum's name is
bigger than the actual author's.

2. There is no Jason Bourne.
Or rather, there is no Matt Damon. There is, however, a Jeremy Renner, who I think is fast becoming Hollywood's go-to guy for continuing franchises (it is rumored that Renner's Mission: Impossible character William Brandt will continue the franchise when Tom Cruise's Ethan Hunt gets too old to make long distance sprints onscreen). There's also Edward Norton. And there's also Rachel Weisz, although I honestly don't know why director Tony Gilroy never used such a beautiful woman like Rachel Weisz in a sex scene.

"Sorry, Jeremy. No sex scene. Daniel's watching."

3. There is no legacy.
When lawyers speak of "legacy", they mean personal property transferred by will. When laymen speak of "legacy", they mean the dictionary definition, which is "something transmitted by or received from a predecessor", and most of the time, this means something positive. For example, Nikola Tesla's legacy includes advancements in alternating current electricity, a whole lot of Edison v. Tesla fan fiction and a rock band named after him. But what exactly is Jason Bourne's legacy?
  • Mutating your own DNA by pumping yourself full of chemicals;
  • Physical, emotional, and social isolation from the rest of the human race;
  • Being chased by armed government thugs everyday;
  • Dodging bullets everyday; 
  • A life of being single and childless;
  • A literal "this could be your last day on earth" philosophy; and 
  • No hazard pay.

Honestly, wouldn't a better title be The Bourne Curse?

Like the Manila traffic, which is one of this country's many curses.

Now Jason Bourne may not have left such a great legacy, but this film has. This is the first major Hollywood production that used Manila as a setting. Some of you may argue that Apocalypse Now holds that record, but you are wrong. Apocalypse Now was indeed shot in the Philippines, but the setting is actually supposed to be Vietnam. If you can't handle being wrong, you'll probably come up with the counter-argument that 1999's lesbian film Brokedown Palace was set in Manila, but once again, you are wrong. Yes, Brokedown Palace was indeed shot in Manila, but the setting is actually supposed to be Bangkok. And it wasn't a lesbian film, although there could have been great girl-on-girl action between Kate Beckinsale and Claire Danes.

Spot the persona non grata.

If you're still not accustomed to defeat, you could still argue that The Great Raid was shot in the Philippines, but again, you are wrong. Yes, the movie is supposedly set in the Philippines during World War II, but it was actually shot in Queensland, Australia, using Asian actors and great production design.

So yes, The Bourne Legacy is indeed the first major Hollywood production that used Manila as a setting. If I am wrong, you can prove it in the comments section.

You can also try to prove that within 100 meters from this shot
lives a dealer of crystal meth.

Also, thanks to The Negation for giving me money to watch this flick. Although he watched this film first, he said he wanted to hear (or read) my own thoughts on this. But I think he's just too lazy to write a review.

The Negation.

The Bourne Legacy. USA. 2012.

Rating: Six out of ten.
Using Manila as a setting: Plus half a point.
Using John Arcilla and Lou Veloso: Plus half a point.
Not having a sex scene with Rachel Weisz: Minus half a point.
Final rating: Six and a half out of ten.

Follow Sting Lacson on Twitter.


Dan O. said...

All of the action in the last 30 minutes really does make up for the slow start and that was one of the most thrilling aspects of this movie. Other than the fact that Aaron Cross wasn’t the type of character you messed with, regardless of whether or not his name was Jason Bourne. Great review Sting.

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