"Sure" I thought "Watching the other movies first might help... But this is a reboot. I'll get to see the Bourne universe in a way intended for new viewers!". How wrong I was. Constant references were made to the previous movies with characters and situations clearly leading on from earlier events. Now this in itself is fine, if there is at least some explanation to the audience as to what is going on! So many things were keeping me from enjoying what is probably highly entertaining to those that are already 6+ hours invested into the franchise. In the time between sitting in my seat and leaving the cinema (which was about 45 minutes in to the movie) I had the following questions which I knew were never going to be answered as they were assumed knowledge:
What do the pills he is taking do?
Why does he hide the pills in his shoe and then lie to the other guy about losing them?
Who are the two guys sitting in a pub and why do I care about them being friends?
Who is this psychologist woman that I should apparently know already?
What is/was the program and what was it trying to do?
What role does Ed Norton actually play here?
Why am I still sitting here? (I wasn't for much longer)
Has The Dark Knight Rises started in the next screen yet? (Sadly, it had)
Does my partner want to leave too? (Yes, very much so)
Having read another review online I found out that the green pills make him artificially smarter. A fact that the reviewer conveyed in a single sentence. One sentence. One offhand sentence about the medication would have resolved that for me (and probably any other new viewers). Also, how hard would it be for the following dialogue snippet to be included:
Ed Norton "Don't worry about Rachel Weisz, we're sending Dr Franknfurter"
Other character "Her? She's a real <DESCRIPTION>, remember <PAST EVENT>"
Or just anything at all to establish any of the characters before/as they appear on screen!
I wasn't even the first to leave the cinema, 2 other pairs of people gave up with it and left before I did. Foolishly I decided to give the movie a chance and see if it could recover; a chance it squandered.