After such a long time, I watched a movie in the big screen again. Not that I am no movie buff, I just don’t seem to find any necessity watching films in the big screen when I can easily download them. Then again, Bourne Legacy was a different story because it was shot in Manila. I was excited how they will depict the city in the film. Not being a fan of the previous Bourne movies, I was at a lost when the film started. I literally don’t know what was happening. But I hang on, waiting for the Manila scenes to take place.
Almost 2/3 of the film was already done, and still no Manila. I was beginning to get bored especially when Rachel Weisz started talking scientific jargon. As a biologist, I’m suppose to understand some of the terms – I do – but then it was too technical even for me to appreciate. I tuned out of that conversation. But I was aghast at how Manila was inserted in the story line. The virus was manufactured here? I didn’t know what to make out of the logic presented. But since I tuned out of the entire conversation, I really didn’t know the logic behind Manila being the virus producer.
And so the characters went to Manila. Yey! At first, I was impressed with the nighttime aerial shots. It was as if the film was in Bangkok or some other high-end Asian City (but then I recalled some Hollywood films did used Manila as a stand-in for those locations). I was also almost at the edge of my seat when close-up shots of Manila were presented. From the taxi ride from the airport to the scenes in the factory and the rented room, it all screamed Manila to me. During the chase scene, I felt that it was a Tagalog movie I was watching, with all the Tagalog dialogue I heard. It was in fact unnerving to hear the occasional English conversations of the main characters.The Manila geography was a bit off for me – I mean who in the Philippines would seriously believe Manila was laid out like that? But then again, for the many foreign viewers, or even those who don’t know Manila all too well, they will most probably excuse the geographical liberties.
Just when the scenes were getting good, the film had to end abruptly. Just when I thought that finally, they have come to the Philippines and we can see some real action, it ended. The hyper chase scene that dominated 1/3 of the film was all there is to it. Nothing more. I was literally left hanging. I can’t believe the credits were rising; I can’t believe the lights turned on. I can’t believe the film was over. I kept expecting something else to happen.
To me, it felt like a very bad, forced ending that would communicate – again badly – that there was a sequel to look forward to. I felt that the entire film was something that they made just so they can make another Bourne installment and make money out of it. In fact, I think they tried to work up all the hype over nothing! Of course, I was happy Manila was featured in the film, although mostly it was the slums they showed and nothing too flattering to the Philippines except the last shots in El Nido, Palawan. Then again, who would really recognize that the end shots were in El Nido? Will anyone ever think those were actually in the Philippines after what they saw in Manila? I certainly hope so.
But overall, story being considered, I did not really like the film. I was in there to watch out for the scenes shot in Manila and that was exactly what I got. Nothing more. No enigmatic story to pique my brain. No intelligent conversation to make me rave about the film. I got what I went there for and that was it.
Did it meet my expectations? My expectations for great shots in Manila, yes. I knew they were not aiming to shot the glorious tourists spots but they did justice to the city. My expectations for a great film with great story telling and dialogue and characters, no. Basically, it was all hodgepodge to me.
Since the film obviously has another sequel – the way they just cut it out in the middle blatantly speaks so – if it is no longer shot in the Philippines, then I would definitely not watch it in the big screen; MAYBE (and not even sure about it) just download it. Because of my disappointment, it was no surprise that I came out of the theater without really catching on the title of the film – even to the point that I posted a status update saying: bitin ang Bourne Identity.
This is why I hate watching movies in the big screen. Sometimes, you can never be too sure of your money’s worth.
This post was supposed to be made when I watched the film during its release last Sunday, but I never got around to it. But thanks to the date function here, I can alter the published date. Hehe.
- The Bourne Legacy in Manila (learnfrommom.wordpress.com)
- A word from that ‘amazing’ Filipino actor in ‘Bourne Legacy’ (entertainment.inquirer.net)
- Movie Review: The stillborn Bourne Legacy (gmanetwork.com)