August 16, 2012

The Bourne [Legacy] is in Manila

The Bourne is in Manila, and the mention of Manila, Philippines in the movie created a buzz among movie goers. This was last Monday night during the VIP screening held in SM Mall of Asia. (I know that the screening came after the opening.. cannot blame anyone, organizers first thought of everyone's safety due to weather).

I will start this review with a disclaimer. I am no movie reviewer and I have not seen the first three Bourne movies. But I got some good points that already convinced 4 people to watch the movie after all the bad reviews they've read and heard.

The Plot

I am not sure if one needs to watch the first 3 movies to understand the film; but I was able to grasp the story as it progresses. Now, if you really a fan of Matt Damon, you should have watched the first three films (which now I think I should.. how did I let all those good movies pass?)

I don't understand why people thought that it is dragging and boring; probably there are expectations from the other Bourne movies. To put it simpler, Aaron Cross (Jeremy Renner) is being tracked down by the people who once made him the person that he is - a smart spy! He escaped with Doctor Marta (Rachel Weisz) and landed in Manila to get more supplies of "Chems" - the blue and green tablets which he got dependent to.

Click Read More for more thoughts and spoilers...

The Setting

I love that watching the film is like touring different countries and cities. The movie started in the cold Alaska and ended in the beautiful Palawan. Some scenes were shot in different states of US, and even Korea.

The Actors

I think I am liking Jeremy Renner. I haven't really paid much attention to him before, but his character - being smart, manly and protective makes me like him. I wouldn't mind riding on that bike with him!

I cannot say much about how Edward Norton has aged..

I think Rachel Weisz is a best fit for the character. She does look like a scientist and a pretty doctor - just like your favorite derma or your kid's pedia. I felt the the sense of worry, tiredness and anger in her character.

I am glad to see familiar Filipino faces in the movie! John Arcilla does speak good English - he reminds me of the guards in the office who are confident in speaking the language. Lou Veloso who I thought no longer has a career in showbiz played a very significant role in the film. As in, very significant.

The Scenes

There are numerous parts of the movie which would make you jump from your seat and worry about the characters. I know a lot are anticipating to see the scenes shot in Manila - I was too; and for the most part I focused on the places where it was shot and losing my focus on the plot and chase scenes.

I love how the camera works (which most reviewers find shaky - there wouldn't be more shakier than the Blair Witch Project!). I love the shots in the mountain cliffs (Alaska), letting the audience feel how it is to be on top f the mountain and in cold.

I find the chase scene in Manila really awesome! It shows the chase in different perspectives - the view from the jeepney, the people in the pedestrian, the characters..

Some Thoughts

  • I never realized chase scene would be possible in Manila! It shows the crowded city, what a normal day is, and how bad the traffic situation is - which is honest and real. I like it. I just don't understand why people criticize the shots and how Manila was portrayed, but in reality, chases would not happen in the historic beautiful places like Vigan, Kapurpurawan and other tourist spots. There is a reason why they chose Manila, and .. tadah! Watch the movie. 

  • Most of the people and reviews I have read compare the film with the first 3 films. I say, watch the movie with no expectations and just appreciate the totality of it. 
  • The reason why the characters were brought in Manila made me laugh! So Manila is the best place to keep illegal transactions and hubs? Well, I am not taking it personally, but I am glad they chose Manila. 
  • The immigration officers let those two characters in the country without realizing they are holding fake passports! Tsk. This is something that the government should look into (in the real life!). 
  • The characters' behavior, attitude, and reactions are so realistic. They get tired and they feel it. You can feel it. Unlike in most action movies, I cannot seem to understand how a 2-month old pregnant woman can still run and jump from houses to houses?
  • If information and security systems are this efficient and fast, I wouldn't want to be a terrorist! 
  • Watching the film (especially during the part of Manila scenes) makes me feel that I am watching two movies - Filipino and Foreign. At some point, I felt that it is a Filipino film, with mostly Filipinos on background and speaking in Tagalog. Nonetheless, it is awesome! Just the thought that it would be shown in Hollywood - we should be proud!
  • I am guessing there would be a sequel for this, as the press release says that there were scenes shot in the Puerto Princessa Underground River, but there were none shown in the film. 
  • I loove that LENOVO Think Pads have a good exposure in the movie (have you realized that?). Oh, I love Lenovo. I love my Lenovo Think Pad.. even the casing has cracks it is still functioning. 
  • There is no KISSING SCENE!

Have you seen the movie? What are your thoughts? What's your favorite scene?

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