Just rewatched David Brent: Life on the Road the other night. It’s a movie I’m kind of down the middle with, like love/slightly dislike relationship. On the negative side it does take away Brent’s perfect ending in the Office (although it’s a fictional movie so you can pretend it doesn’t exist), and is a movie that has lost the subtlety that the Office had, i.e. telling rather than showing. But when I’m watching it I’m completely won over because I can’t stop laughing, I generally haven’t laughed that hard at a film in years, I just love the character. And at points it’s heartbreaking, which was always a side to Brent that made him real.
This will sound completely mad but I had a similar feeling when watching the latest Jason Bourne movie. It follows so many familiar beats of the previous films, but Greengrass’ set pieces are some of the best action I’ve witnessed recently in films, he is the master of the shaky, quick edit style. So with both movies there’s stuff that has problems on a story level but what they set out to do in their genre, Brent a comedy, Bourne an action movie they succeed at for me. I think the problems stem from the movies continuing a beloved character’s journey, there’s expectation. But in the end I love both movies.