Either Newport Performing Arts Theater is too big to be filled to capacity in last night’s Bourne Legacy Asian premiere or the storm dispirited a lot of ticket holders from leaving the comforts of their homes. Not me. Red-carpet premiere is a rare opportunity I have to brave the monsoon surge. Rare as in sushi.
I have counted a lot of empty seats. And lots of beautiful familiar faces. As to my spot, I got the frontrow. First line. Frontline. The most unwanted area when in the movies and the most desired in stage shows or boxing bouts. At least I can see clearly the scratches on the rostrum, the mechanisms behind the curtain overhead, or the type of fabric a silver screen is made of. Now, about my previous dilemma: to my left sits a Metro Manila Development Authority bigwig and the aisle next to her. And to my right are ABS-CBN charms Maan Macapagal and Gretchen Malalad who would, later on, transfer to a more suitable viewing angle. So there, Donna and Sheila.
Now I don’t want to be a spoiler sort but here’s a couple of amusing notes from Tony Gilroy’s roller coaster ride: my seatmate, the MMDA veep, she shrieked a lot and was jolted many many times out of her seat along the two-hour plus stretch. Second, the only time the movie elicit a response from the Filipino audience was on Dr. Snyder’s (Rachel Weisz) first mention of “Manila” and on the majestic seascape shot of El Nido, no more no less.
As for the performances, I was expecting Edward Norton would charged up the air intensely up to stratosphere. I expected too much. Instead, I shall give the pat to our very own Lou Veloso. Sterling tiny bit of performance. Finally, the Manila chase scene is a-OK yes, thanks to extra-added camera shakes. (I still prefer the neat Moscow car chase) Bottom line, don’t presume this fourth installment made it out of the three Bournes’ umbra easily, unless you want to fall flat.