Saturday, 18 August 2012

The Bourne Legacy

With neither Matt Damon nor Paul Greengrass being involved The Bourne Legacy was a desperate attempt to keep a franchise alive without resorting to a reboot.  This was the official party line until they cast Jeremy Renner.

PLOT: After all the trouble caused by Jason Bourne, Eric Byer (Edward Norton) has had enough and has decided to kill every single soul involved (although never mentioned until this film) in the project.  This includes Aaron Cross, (Jeremy Renner) an agent who is more concerned that he will be back riding the short bus if he doesn’t get his blue pills than the assassination attempts on his life. Jason Bourne. Aaron teams up with scientist Dr Marta Shearing (Rachel Weisz) and they Jason Bourne the Jason Bourne and ride the motor cycle through the Jason Bourne. END PLOT

The Bourne Legacy takes place around the same time as The Bourne Ultimatum. The filmmakers made sure that Jason Bourne’s name was mentioned on average once every ten words to remind the audience that Legacy is an addendum to the original trilogy.

The story takes too long to get going – for the first twenty minutes Renner does a cracking impersonation of Liam Neeson in The Grey. It felt that they needed to give Cross something to do while Byer was trying to explain how this film is associated with the previous Bournes.

Once Aaron Cross met up with Marta the pace picked up but the tone was lacking in tension and there was no sense of danger.  Tony Gilroy is no stranger to the Bourne world but he just was too focused on the previous films to let Legacy have a chance of succeeding on its own merits.

The action was decent with the main set piece being a motorbike chase. Renner is a biker and was involved in a fair chunk of the stunts which saved it from being a generic chase scene.  He was never stretched in the film but his status as an action star is once more affirmed.

Cross’ main adversary in the field is LARX, aka, Jason Bourne without emotion, aka the Terminator. In theory LARX is a scary opponent however in execution the relentless unstoppable force did raise a few unintentional giggles.

The Bourne franchise does belong to Matt Damon but I did allow myself to hope that Jeremy Renner would more than hold his own.

Renner is very good as Aaron Cross although he almost needed more screen time. Renner is a naturally dry actor but the tone of the Bourne films do not allow for sarcastic one liners. There were moments when he appeared to be suppressing his natural snark.

Edward Norton was perfect in his role of watching monitors and folding his arms simultaneously - Byer was a powerful man yet was as threatening as an exam invigilator. I have no idea how Norton made this character work but he did.

As Weisz is an actress who can act she didn’t seem ridiculous spewing out genetic science.

The Bourne Legacy is not on par with the Bourne Trilogy but it doesn't matter as I really enjoyed it.  It gets 7/10.

The film was essentially a two hour fifteen minute letter to Matt Damon explaining why he needs to come back for the sequel/fifth film.  It matters not what you think of The Bourne Legacy the notion of Damon and Renner together isn’t an unpleasant one.


  1. "almost needed more screen time" that the most disturubing part of the whole thing but it sounds like a passable if not wonderful placeholder until Damon returns.

    1. It was decent and I enjoyed it but Legacy very much shows that replacing one Bourne with another is no easy task.

      There seemed to be long periods of time when Renner was off screen and the focus was on another character

  2. The whole "There was never just one" premise is so laughable, it could have been ripped off from some horror franchise LOL

    1. The film almost spent too much time trying to justify why it got made rather than focusing on it's on story.

      It was fun and as a Renner fan I wasn't disappointed but I know it wasn't anywhere near as good as the Bournes!

  3. I still have yet to watch these. I will one day if I ever manage to turn on the TV. Good review :)

    1. Thank you

      Legacy isn't as good as the Damon films but it is still worth a look if you ever come across it