The Bourne Legacy Review
by Mike Holtz, WeWatchedAMovie
Here’s hoping a new spin on a great trilogy injects some new excitement and does for Bourne what Casino Royale did for James Bond.
It would appear we take off around the same timeline as Ultimatum left us. Jason Bourne has really freaked the CIA out and now they are bringing in yet another big gun to clean things up. Enter Edward Norton playing the man who founded the whole project and the only man who has to have the guts to burn it to the ground. This means taking out everyone involved….. including the other agents. That’s right, there was never just one. Gasp. Aaron Cross (Jeremy Renner) is one of these agents and he doesn’t want to go down so easily. He crosses paths with Marta Shearing (Rachel Weisz) who has her own survivor story stemming from an extremely disturbing incident where she worked as a scientist for the program. The two work together to survive and get Cross the tools he needs to continue being a mentally sound Outcome agent capable of protecting them.
Renner is a great Bourne replacement. He actually brings a bit more personality than Bourne because he is more flawed in certain ways, actually making him more relate-able. This makes gives the character a new side altogether as Cross seems to have a sincere desperation for human interaction beyond what his occupation allows. He is also rougher around the edges making the action scenes a bit more believable. Unfortunately the aforementioned action scenes (especially the trademark hand to hand combat ones) are few and far between. After a slow start the film spends a lot of it’s time back at the CIA re-treading old plots and re-explaining things the audience probably understood ten minutes in. As far as look, style, and even action scenes this film seems to have a lot of simple copy and paste from the other three films.
The Bourne Legacy may have a new leading man and a few new side-plots but ultimately focuses on the same formula and brings nothing significantly new to the table to sink your teeth into. What new ground was covered felt more like reaching for a reason to make a sequel more than anything else. It is shot well and looks like the Bourne films we know and love and when we are finally lucky enough to be treated to an action scene or two it’s no disappointment. The main actors in the film, Renner and Weisz carry the meandering plot impressively even with their own characters questionable motives on their backs. What we have here is a nice, crisp stand-alone film that had potential. But as a Bourne movie it’s just okay.