Dark Knight to (probably) Rise Again, while Bourne Legacy Sails into the .. Past

Movies and Television

Two-fer. And it’s telling that I had to look up what movies I ain’t covered yet because I knew there was something BIG I hadn’t reviewed, but couldn’t remember. And to which of titular sequels do I refer?

Ending(?) with a Bang!

We seem to have the biggest speaking parts, isn’t that weird? © 2012 Warner Bros.

My punctuation is showing what I thought of Christopher Nolan’s ‘final’ Batman movie, The Dark Knight Rises: “Oh yeah, that one?! Duh.”

A very good movie that, much like The Dark Knight, Rises had less to do with Bruce Wayne’s Batman (Christian Bale), and more to do with everyone and everything else.

Taking center stage were Gary Oldman‘s Police Commissioner Gordon, and the introductions to Anne Hathaway‘s villain-with-heart-for-Batman Catwoman, Marion Cotillard‘s transition girl and Joseph Gordon-Levitt‘s young detective with a important middle name.

Hadn’t even got to the various bad guys du jour, Daddy-figure Alfred (Michael Caine) or Morgan Freeman‘s not-Q – who also seem to get their own little subplots. The plot is borrowed from the news, rich vs. poor and some doodad that’ll destroy Gotham. Whatever.

The biggest stretch for me in the whole thing wasn’t Alfred’s pained tough love, or Bruce’s quick – after a decade mourning – take to Cotillard, but rather his role in the plot. He has to lose everything in the most far-fetched, bullshit fashion without really trying to get it back (an even bigger WTF?!) – and come back again. Some more.

Fighting fight fu and some exposition that makes the ending 110% easy to predict, and that’s the movie. I mean there was a minor twist on the villain that I knew was coming, just not in that way.

The real question is the ‘finality’ of it – considering how much of The Dark Knight Rises was really about introducing some other MAJOR players in this D.C. universe. You’ve seen it, know of whom I type.

Final Snark: Very entertaining if a wee predictable, The Dark Knight Rises to the occasion to close? – maybe, maybe not – the trilogy.

Get Your Retcon On: Extreme Reboot Edition

Picking up where The Bourne Ultimatum was near the end but not really (remember, it retconned the end of The Bourne Supremacy), The Bourne Legacy is creatively bankrupt Hollywood’s ploy to build on the franchise name – swapping Matt Damon with the presumably cheaper Jeremy Renner.

Jeremy Renner and Edward Norton scowl off in Bourne’s to come? Maybe. © 2012 Universal Pictures

I had no issues with Renner (also passed the Mission:Impossible torch in Ghost Protocol) as another uber agent; it’s that his character was poorly shoe-horned into an already convoluted story for the sake of gravitas it never earned.

So The Bourne Legacy feels – with all the flashbacks, retreads of older plot lines that criss-cross in real time – much less like a movie in its own right and instead, a watered down epilogue that doesn’t do its job: reboot the franchise. In fact, when it finally gets to that point, the movie just sputters to an end.

Back but not really are various Bourne alums like Joan Allen, Albert Finney, David Strathairn. Wonder what glorified cameos pay these days?

New are Rachel Weisz (The Mummy, though of course she’d probably want me to remind you – Oscar!) as a scientist helping Bourne Jr. and Edward Norton as power player on his trail – from a CIA media room armchair.

Lots of ‘science’ and politics, lots of head games and chases and violence, and very little in the way of advancing the plot. Since we know TPTB are wanting to milk the series for all it’s worth, there’s no fear for the fate of Jeremy, no mystery, no excitement. Except maybe why – when he doesn’t need her anymore – does he not just send Rachel Weisz packing with some money and a new life?

Final Snark: Too much lather, repeat, retcon and not enough ‘new’ to warrant another Bourne beginning.

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