Thursday, August 9, 2012

In Theaters: "The Bourne Legacy"

The Bourne Legacy has always been one of this summer’s more questionable projects, a picture that asked a question seldom even posed anymore in this post-Smokey and the Bandit 3 age: is a franchise even worth continuing if the title character isn’t involved? It became clear early on that neither star Matt Damon nor Bourne Supremacy and Bourne Ultimatum director Paul Greengrass had any interest in continuing the franchise, and for good reason; that third film was an entirely satisfactory conclusion, and dragging the character’s adventures out further didn’t really make a helluva lot of sense. But The Bourne Legacy went into production anyway, and while some of us snickered at Universal’s seemingly desperate play for summer cash, the project started to get interesting. Jeremy Renner, Rachel Weisz, and Edward Norton signing on are all good signs—a better one is the involvement of Tony Gilroy.

In Theaters: "Hope Springs"

The last time Meryl Streep starred in a middle-aged sex comedy, the result was It’s Complicated, so you can forgive me for walking in to Hope Springs with something less than fevered anticipation. And let’s not oversell—this is a film with real problems, from its tenuous grasp of tone to the many, many questionable music choices. But it’s not a bad film. It’s sweet and occasionally very funny, with an achingly credible leading turn by Meryl Streep and a Tommy Lee Jones performance which nicely reconfirms that, at this point in his career, Tommy Lee Jones is pretty much great in anything.