So before I tell you to that the Dark Knight Rises is just another Batman with a stupid cape…I needed to get your attention— what I can tell you now is I did pass up (not on purpose) the chance to watch my second favorite superhero (Spiderman will always be the first) and opted for another man of power in a less hyped film, but nonetheless—an attention getter.
Surpassing the Dark Knight Rises, The Bourne Legacy owes all box- office numbers to the people of Asia, and more so, the Philippines. Having been the only Asian premiere and special premiere at that, showing 3 days before the actual release date, Filipinos flocked to the cinemas to see their beloved city of Manila in all its polluted glory. Now it’s not that bad—except for the fact that we are the host country of the so- called “virus”. As I was sitting in the movie theater anticipating mention of my hometown, the whole audience including my self clapped in humor and pure audacity with the head- shaking gesture of—- OF COURSE WE’RE THE VIRUS.
What we thought would be the “headquarters” or the “place to escape to” or at least a stop on the way of the main characters’ journey, we knew and expected Manila would not be shown in the brightest of lights although we did hope—just a little—that we’d finally be…well, cool. I mean it is our first massive exposure in a Hollywood blockbuster film. But the movie makes it up to us, my fellow citizens, with the spot on acting of veterans John Arcilla (guard at virus- containing venue) and Lou Veloso (sort of pirate at the end) who quipped it was a surreal experience to see themselves on the real silver screen, something only a few of us could dream of. Hard work and commitment to your craft DOES PAY OFF in major forms eventually. Plus the few seconds of astonishing beauty from the island of Palawan as they set off into the horizon, cliff hanging and hinting at a sequel—hopefully, they pick up from Palawan did justice.
The director did indeed say it was a possibility what with the scenes they shot being called out as some of the best they’ve EVER seen—motorcycle car chase in the middle of Edsa?—priceless. It’s inevitable that something with this enormity could only be shot in our streets where there’s plenty of access to crowds of bustling people and fish markets right next door! Ah, only in the Philippines. And we’re not the only ones who love it. Rachel Weisz did note that our poverty- stricken areas are nothing like she’s seen before and this should be taken into mind for better governance, but if the good parts were enough to get Daniel Craig, Bond…James Bond, to come visit her here, we’re doing alright.
I give the movie a B. Plotwise—Jason Bourne’s disappearance was never fully explained, they don’t get to the climax until the film is 2/3 done and the only action that will keep you gripping your seats is what happened here, in the sunny island we wake up to every morning. So if you’re a Filipino and want to embrace your culture, although it may be a little embarrassing (especially when it dawns upon you, the WHOLE WORLD is watching us…in a way) The Bourne Legacy is the movie to watch. Congratulations Philippines, we again make our hard- to- miss mark on the international scene, and thus a legacy is born for the stars and sun.