Tom DotyTimes Columnist
December 12, 2012
Three box office hits and one direct-to-DVD dud made for a wide array of choices for adventurous viewers this week.
“The Bourne Legacy” — This is less a remake than an actual sequel to the Matt Damon action films that were derived from crime author Robert Ludlum. This time, the focus is on the program that trained Bourne. Turns out there are other operatives out there, and they are in trouble when an intelligence agent tries to shut them down. Jeremy Renner stars as a different operative who must outwit his own organization via several outrageous action sequences. Good stuff with a nice turn by Edward Norton as the chief bad guy.
“Ted” — If you like Seth Macfarlane’s “Family Guy” cartoon series, then you should enjoy this film that he wrote and directed. Mark Wahlberg stars as a guy who is still best friends with his teddy bear. The bear came to life when he wished it so, and the two have remained buds since they were kids. Unfortunately, they have not helped each other mature much, so expect lots of bodily function jokes. There is also a clever cameo from Sam J. Jones. he starred in the “Flash Gordon” remake of the 1980s, the only film Wahlberg and Ted watch. Funny stuff .
“Ice Age: Continental Drift” — The fourth film in this animated saga sees Manny, the mammoth, Diego, the saber tooth, and Sid, the sloth, returning for more action. They get plenty of it when they are set adrift on an iceberg and must find their way back to their families. Problems arise when they run into a gang of pirate critters who are using their hunk of ice like a boat to spread their reign of terror. The kids should enjoy this, but adults with an attention span will be wondering if this is ever going to develop a plot. (Spoiler: It won’t.) That said, it is a paycheck for Ray Romano (who deserves one after having his excellent series “Men of a Certain Age” cancelled way too soon).
“Night Claws” — Direct-to-DVD doesn’t always mean bad, but it does in this case. I don’t care, though, since you get the return of Reb Brown (TV’s “Captain America”) to action movies, as well as a chance to see the Rebster take on a super-quick Bigfoot creature that is fond of ripping the limbs off his victims.
Next week brings sequels and remakes with a new “Resident Evil” and a fresh take on “Total Recall.”