Bourne Legacy vs. The Campaign

Kenny D August 10, 2012 0
Bourne Legacy vs. The Campaign

It’s time for another showdown. This week, two movies are going head to head, and they have nothing in common. They will have something in common I suppose. They will both make crazy amounts of money at the box office. The Campaign will make a butt-load (yeah, that’s a real term) of money because it’s a highly profitable year for crude R rated comedies (unless your name is Adam Sandler). Also, Bourne will do very well financially. The last Bourne movie came out in 2007 and action fans are salivating for some more “who-am-I” spy mystery. Granted, Matt Damon is not in this movie, but action fans know what to expect with this series.

Bourne Legacy
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“Hey honey, look at these guns I just picked up from Target!”

As the movie poster tell us, “There was never just one.” Wow, doesn’t that just sound intense? Before we get off on a negative foot, let me tell you, I’ve never been a fan of the series. The first one was pretty decent. The second and third movies, while not bad, are more of the same. I often say, “If you walked into a room and Bourne was playing on TV, you would have no idea which movie it was…even if you watched the entire movie.” Think about it. In each of the movies, Jason Bourne escapes and fights death at every turn, while shady government agents play God from their own version of CTU. Then the movie always ends with Bourne remembering something crucial and life-changing. That’s all good and fine, but I don’t need to see 3 movies depicting that. Now we have a fourth.

Jeremy Renner plays Aaron Cross. He is a spy for the “outcome” project that was working side by side with Treadstone. The CIA, afraid that Jason Bourne is going to muck everything up, decide to take out every agent in the outcome program. Haven’t they ever seen a movie in their lives? Seriously, you don’t try and have your own spies killed. You might as well sign your own death warrant at that point. Well somehow Rachel Weisz is involved and helping Renner find his required dose of “chems.” The spies of outcome are a little different than those of Bourne’s era. They are chemically enhanced men that need regular doses of blue and green pills to stay in control.

I don’t want to say much more about the drugs. They are the macguffin and should stay mysterious. How much you like the movie will depend on how you think the drugs help the plot. I think once you find out what they do, it ruins the movie. Beyond that negative, Renner and Weisz do great. I liked both characters and feel they could carry another trilogy, though judging the history, it would be the same plot as Legacy for two more rounds. Edward Norton (my favorite actor) was good in the few scenes he was in. I was suprised by how little action there was. There is a standout scene during the cabin interrogation, but beyond that we get a choppy, frantic motorcycle chase through the Philippines that is very hard to watch. I know the crappy action editing is a Bourne staple but I could have done without it. By the end, I felt seasick just like I’d been watching the Blair Witch Project.

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The clearest moment in the Bourne series
 The Campaign
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A comedy with these two is like eating a cookie with raisins and fingernails baked in.

Will Ferrell and Zach Galifianakis star as Cam Brady and Marty Huggins, respectively. Ferrell is a Democrat in North Carolina who has been unchallenged in elections for 4 terms. Enter Galifianakis (his name is incredibly hard to type), a newcomer Republican forced into the race, who just cares for the community. The entire movie follows these two as they insult and terrorize each other and still manage to rise in the polls.

It should also be no secret that I dislike both leads tremendously. They do not appeal to my brand of humor, but for most people they are the funniest men alive. The problem with The Campaign lies in having two zany, unrelatable characters try to carry a movie. Even comedies need a straight man to get behind and be embarrassed for.

The supporting cast, for the most part, is great. Ferrell’s wife is a power-hungry woman who will do whatever she can to eventually be 2nd lady of the nation. Galifianakis’ family are fish out of water with the entire political process and it’s funny to see how they change during the campaign. The best scene of the flick shows a confessional at the Huggins’ family dinner table. The only semi-serious roles go to the campaign managers, Jason Sudeikis and Dylan McDermott. I loved seeing McDermott in this type of movie as the ultra serious professional attempting to makeover the homely Huggins family. He and Ferrell’s wife were the bright spots.

I went into this movie with my arms folded, preparing to stifle any laughs. I couldn’t stay strong (stubborn) for long because it hits hard with the laughs. I found myself opening up to the silliness of the whole thing. But something happens halfway through. The shock value doesn’t hold up, the laughs stop, their antics become too far out, and you start to see the flaws in what feels like a standard SNL movie. When it ends by trying to have a heart and morals, it’s just too late and comes off as a throw-together ending. It’s a shame, because seeing two candidates sling mud at one another as the public becomes disenchanted with both is very timely.

Neither movie is fantastic, but if I were to recommend one, Bourne Legacy wins out.

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