The Bourne Legacy
The Bourne Legacy is the unfortunate fourth installment of the incredibly successful Jason Bourne movie series. Legacy is a massive disappointment for several reasons, perhaps most of all because it doesn’t feature titular character Jason Bourne. Legacy is a goddamn abomination from the very beginning. New scenes are interspliced with scenes from The Bourne Ultimatum (movie 3 in the series). This is done to let us know the events are occurring simultaneously. However, it doesn’t come across well at all. It ends up as far more confusing, and the scenes are unnecessary, adding absolutely nothing to the film.
Next, the lead character, Aaron Cross (played by Jeremy Renner), is nothing more than a prop meant to stand in for Bourne until Matt Damon decides to return to the franchise. Cross is a completely generic super-spy just like all the others we’ve seen before. He brings nothing new to the table. Renner does a decent enough job acting, but the material he has to work with is so bland that nothing could save it. Bourne’s character was interesting because he was an amnesiac, and plot revelations were earned over time to create an interesting mystery for the audience. Cross, however, already knows everything about being a spy, so there is nothing new for the audience to take in. The main female character, a random scientist played by Rachel Weisz, is one-note through and through.
The story drags from the beginning, and is only punctuated by a few brief action sequences. The storyline is a complete re-hash of the other films (rogue agent escapes as government tries to kill him). The rest of the film is very talky, but nobody is talking about anything important. Bureaucratic types (like the one played by Edward Norton) bluster at one another endlessly, spouting meaningless drivel. The final scene is a protracted chase scene where Cross attempts to flee his attackers, which include a villain who literally follows his scent. Is this movie fucking serious? The menacing villain SMELLS the hero? Jesus fucking Christ, where do they come up with this shit? Overall, this is a wretched film. It’s no wonder Damon steered clear of it. If they keep churning out scripts like this one, it’s doubtful he’ll ever return to the franchise. And he shouldn’t.
Pitch Perfect is exactly the kind of movie I can’t stand to watch. It’s one of those made for tweens musical “comedies” that eschews logic or coherence in favor of SINGING AND MUSIC AND FART JOKES. The setting is a college, although it must be a college for retards or something, since everyone is about 10 years older than the average college student. A bunch of generic white girls audition for an a capella group called the Barden Belles. The Belles are about to enter a nation-wide a capella competition, and they have to do whatever it takes to hone their skills in order to win the trophy.
Everything that follows is a hodge-podge of tired genre cliches that have been done a thousand times before, not to mention a thousand times better. Anna Kendrick and her giant teeth play the main girl who loves singing. She attempts to overhaul the Belles by making them do music from recent years. However, the group leader, played by Anna Camp and her giant teeth, refuses, thinking that songs from the 1980s or earlier are the only way to go. This creates a rift in the group until Camp predictably gives in and allows the group to sing recent songs.
Kendrick’s character tells a boy that she has never finished watching a movie in her entire life, which is completely preposterous, but the reason why is because they are too predictable. That’s a fucking hilarious joke, since Pitch Perfect is as cliche and predictable as movies come. Guess what it’s about? A ragtag group of underdogs who enter a competition against all odds and are crowned champions at the end. Wow, I’ve never seen a movie like that before. Ugh. Kendrick’s character eventually watches the fucking Breakfast Club, and cries her ass off. Yeah, The Breakfast Club, what a tearjerker. Throughout the film, Kendrick tells the boy they have no shot at a relationship. Then, at the very end of the movie she kisses him. Um, what? Not only did she put the kibosh on a relationship several times, the two of them have zero chemistry on screen. The kiss comes pretty far out of left field.
Everything else in the film is idiotic: shy asian girl who can’t speak above a whisper? SURE, LET’S HAVE HER JOIN THE SINGING GROUP, WHY NOT? Of course, we have a quirky fat girl (who I have to admit did make me laugh a couple of times). And naturally, we have gross-out humor like the girls wrestling in a giant pool of vomit. Last but not least, with this being a college movie, classes or learning do not show up ever. It’s a tween’s ideal of what college must be like. In the movie’s favor, the singing was good and the people behind the songs are quite talented. But apart from that, Pitch Perfect has nothing else to offer.