The Bourne Legacy (2012) Directed by Tony Gilroy. Starring: Jeremy Renner, Rachel Weisz and Edward Norton. IMDB says: ”An expansion of the universe from Robert Ludlum’s novels, centered on a new hero whose stakes have been triggered by the events of the previous three films.”
It’s easy to compare The Bourne Legacy to it’s entertaining predecessors but you won’t find any fun in that. Although TBL picks up where The Bourne Ultimatum left off and includes multiple references to Matt Damon’s Jason Bourne character, it is treated largely as a reboot. There is a redundant nature to the story and if you’re looking forward to something completely fresh to the series this movie might not cut it for you. But if you’re hoping to catch another addition to the smart action series, the film delivers as enjoyable entertainment.
To jump everyone up to date, here’s the bare bones of this new film’s plot: the government program Jason Bourne was connected with is in the process of being terminated after the events of the previous films. As a result, all field agents are set to be terminated as well. This film follows one agent named Aaron Cross as he escapes deactivation and attempts survival. One of the best parts of the Bourne films is the story. I really gravitate towards smart espionage thrillers that are capable of keeping me on edge for a two + hour run time. The plot is simple enough to keep out of convoluted territory but intelligent enough to make me care about the characters. Renner is also a nice addition to the series and makes for a believable agent in the Bourne universe. Of course the second big factor to the series success is the action. And even though there is a particular bike chase that seems to overstay it’s welcome, I was as wrapped up as ever with the fist fights and shoot outs. The Bourne films always make me want to take a krav maga class after I leave the theater and this was no exception.
Only a few flaws make their way into The Bourne Legacy. The 2+ hour run time I previously mentioned isn’t a chore but it’s apparent. The film has a lot of exposition to get through in the first half which ends up slightly attributing to the film’s ‘feels like it could be two films’ issue. Because the pacing is a little uneven throughout the movie, the ending seems abrupt as well. It doesn’t feel rushed, just cut short, and the movie doesn’t exactly end on a intruiging note. I certainly wouldn’t mind continuing with the story and characters, but the conclusion doesn’t help to drive that desire.
To reiterate my initial sentiment, I feel like TBL is a solid inclusion in the film series. Is it as good as the earlier movies? Maybe not. Is it better than most action films? Definitely.
The Bourne Legacy opens in theaters August 10th.