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Film: The Bourne Legacy

Director Paul Greengrass and Matt Damon are out, and in comes series scribe Tony Gilroy to the director’s chair, with Jeremy Renner as Aaron Cross, another super-spy trained by a secretive programme akin to that which fashioned Damon’s forgetful agent. It proves a predominantly successful addition to the series. 

Running concordantly with Ultimatum, it’s both spin-off and sequel: Cross is a chemically enhanced next-gen operative, but as threats to expose the CIA’s secret operations leave Edward Norton’s string-puller no other option than to burn it to the ground, Cross, with Rachel Weisz’s research doc, are forced out on the run.

Starring: Jeremy Renner, Rachel Weisz | 12A | 135mins | On general release Aug 13

 

Film: The Expendables 2

Sylvester Stallone is back with his band of geriatric ass-kickers for more Eighties hommaging, blood-splattered action spectacle.

Along for the ride this time, as well as the returning Jason Statham, Dolph Lundgren and Jet Li, are Jean Claude Van Damme, Arnie, Bruce Willis and Chuck Norris. With a line-up this stellar, who cares about story? Blow some shit up!

 On general release from August 16

Film: Take This Waltz

To many she was the resilient nurse from the Dawn Of The Dead remake, but Canadian Sarah Polley has made a name as a filmmaker of note.

This, her third outing behind the camera, is a romantic comedy in which Michelle Williams’ head is turned by a fit new neighbour (Luke Kirby). Expect more insights than your standard Sandra Bullock rom-com.

On general release from August 17
Starring: Michelle Williams, Seth Rogen
15 | 116mins

 

Comedy: Paul Sinha: Last Christmas

Paul used to be a GP before, much to his parents’ dismay, giving up a respectable, enviable and highly paid career for life as, as he himself puts it, a clown.

In this show, he recounts the moments that have shaped his life, starting with an ill advised and highly misguided recent trip to the Himalayas. Top stuff.

Soho Theatre
21 Dean Street, W1D 3NE. Aug 16-18. £10+
Tube | Oxford Circus 
sohotheatre.com


Theatre: Spamalot

Updated, downsized and here for the summer, Christopher Luscombe’s touring production of Eric Idle’s spoof musical raises smiles rather than laughs.

“Lovingly ripped off” (according to the programme) from the film Monty Python And The Holy Grail, and with a Boris lookalike cycling across the stage at one point, it has its moments.

Harold Pinter, Panton Street, SW1Y 4DN. Until Sept 9. £15+ 
Tube | Piccadilly Circus 
http://www.atgtickets.com 

Exhibition: In The Rings With Ali

To celebrate the Games and the legacy they’ll leave for east London, this new exhibition – in what will soon be known as the East Village – shines a light on one of the greatest sportsmen, and surely the greatest sporting personalities (usually an oxymoron), of all time. With photos, memorabilia and installations.

Forman’s Smokehouse Gallery
Stour Rd, FIsh Island, E3 2NT.
Aug 13-Sept 30 
Station | Hackney Wick 
smokehousegallery.org

 

Theatre: The Complete World of Sports

The current production by the Reduced Shakespeare Co sets out to spoof the history and diversity of sporting activity from archery to wrestling.

It’s bursting with energy, and has virtually nothing to do with the Bard, but would benefit from curtailing some gags and refreshing the American references for UK audiences. 

Arts Theatre, WC2H 7JB. Until Aug 25. £22+ 
Tube | Leicester Square 
artstheatrewestend.com

 

Photos: Manuel Harlan; Getty

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London scene: the best in arts and entertainment this week, August 13-19
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