The Bourne Legacy - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

The Bourne Legacy Reviews

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Super Reviewer
½ September 23, 2012
A pathetic and useless follow-up to an excellent trilogy, making us follow another fugitive guy while Jason Bourne is only mentioned but never appears. Besides, apart from a few efficient scenes, it is mostly confusing and tedious, especially in its uninspired chase scenes.
Super Reviewer
April 3, 2011
An interesting addition to the series which runs concurrent with the last film time wise. The plot is starting to get stretched a bit thin now though, I liked the original films gritty realistic feel. Overall I think it was a bit hyped up and the ending was a bit sudden, not what I was hoping for but still a good action film.
Super Reviewer
August 9, 2012
The Bourne Legacy looks and feels like another entry in the well liked series, but is missing the interesting characters and revelations that made the trilogy a massive hit in the last decade. Jeremy Renner is a fine actor and does well in the role of Aaron Cross, but the character itself is not as interesting as Jason Bourne and Matt Damon's magnetic portrayal which pushed it over the top. It was all about uncovering past mysteries before and it was genuinely compelling and well-crafted storytelling, but this entry is perfectly content to recycle material and deliver a mediocre story that doesn't have the push of past entries. Honestly, not much happens in this film in terms of the overall plot arc and the future is up in the air on whether or not we will ever get a sequel, which makes the non-ending of this film even more anti-climactic. The supporting characters also are not as compelling as the series past. Edward Norton plays a bland "villain" in this, despite also being an excellent actor, and Rachel Weisz is mostly wasted in the damsel in distress role. David Strathairn is certainly missed. The one criticism levied towards the original trilogy was the camerawork, which was mostly shaky-cam to add intensity, but some people complained they couldn't tell what was going on. I disagreed with this and thought it added a level of visceral satisfaction to the films. Legacy pretty much does away with them. It's a much more straightforward approach, adding to the blandness. There are some good things, mostly some excellent scenery and cinematography towards the beginning and some good action sequences. It is still Bourne, after all. The film itself is decently paced and can be entertaining, but it's a second rate version of the original films.
Super Reviewer
May 6, 2012
Bourne series scripter Tony Gilroy steps into the director's chair for this sidequel that takes the ideas from the previous films, and runs with it, giving us a deeper look into the world created in the other films, but through the eyes of some new (and a few old) characters.

While not physically present, Jason Bourne, and what he was a part of, play a big role here, making the film's title of 'legacy' really appropriate. Set around (and during) some of the events of The Bourne Ultimatum, this is the story of a new agent whose fate has been sealed by the events of the first three films. His name is Aaron Cross, and, because of what Bourne did, he now founds himself on the run with a fellow person also deeply involved in all of the shadowy government business.

The film has all the globe-trotting thrills you'd expect from this sort of thing, but it doesn't have the same impact as the other films, and this one is easily the weakest/least interesting. That doesn't mean that it is a bad film, but it just isn't as captivating.

The ideas behind it are interesting, and I liked how the film shows the fallout and consequences of the events from previous films, but these new characters in general just aren't as compelling. Renner is solid as the leading man here, but I can't say the same for Weisz, who is rather underwhelming most of the time. I think Norton did decent too, though this seems more like a sleepwalk for him than anything else.

As far as the cinematography goes, Robert Elswit delivers the goods, and we get some gorgeous stuff here. The editing, especially in the action moments is also far less choppy than before, but the action scenes themselves aren't as thrilling as the earlier ones. I did like the end chase, but it went on a tad too long. The hands down best part of the film though, has to be the utterly gripping and suspenseful laboratory shooting scene. That was some intense and chilling stuff. And that's probably Gilroy's best strength here- the ability to really deliver tension and suspense. The rest feels kinda routine, though still decent.

Aside from not being as compelling, the essentially non-existent ending is really frustrating, even though I would like to see more of the Cross character, oddly enough. The film is also too long, and definitely feels that way. The script is also probably a tad too convoluted for its own good.

In the end, as flawed as this might be (and it sure is), I did enjoy this, even if it fails to be as strong as its predecessors. This is one of my rare times where I'll give it the slightest recommendation possible, so give it a watch.
Super Reviewer
½ July 18, 2012
Perfectly decent.
Super Reviewer
August 16, 2012
I loved the Matt Damon Bourne movies for their fantastic, intriguing, and exciting storylines. This movie is nothing but one chase scene, after another...great storyline non-existent. This movie was good to watch if all you are interested in is action, I guess. I, personally, needed a little more from this movie. Especially, since they were trying to get us to accept a Bourne movie without Jason Bourne...
Super Reviewer
July 15, 2012
I actually think this storyline is better than the former Bourne series. Assassins who have been genetically modified are being hunted down and killed. One agent must stop them. Good cast.
Super Reviewer
January 10, 2013
An average addition to a celebrated espionage franchise, only this time it details an agent very similar to Jason Bourne, this one named Aaron Cross (Jeremy Renner), and how the government turns on him after an experimentation on agents like he and Bourne has determined to be a failure, and the government decides to wipe the remaining agents out. The element that made the first three 'Bourne' movies so special was its hair-raising action sequences and effortless switching from action to politics and how governments use their agents. Sadly, in 'Legacy', there is only really one great action sequence, and a lot of talking and politicking. Renner is fine as the new agent, sadly for him the movie doesn't give him a chance to carry the series with that character, as the film routinely brings up Jason Bourne's name like they aren't over him or the fact that Matt Damon declined to reprise the roll. Not a bad movie, certainly a good looking one that is well acted, but not enough of what made the series special to begin with.
Super Reviewer
December 10, 2012
BOURNE IS BA... wait, Aaron Cross? Who's this?

Tony Gilroy takes the helm to direct the 4th installment of the Bourne series with Legacy. He's known for strong writing and taking a dab at directing with "Michael Clayton" (which is an incredible movie). With an all new protagonist, new side story, and new director, "The Bourne Legacy" is, without a doubt, an ambitious and risky addition. Without the deft hands and vision of action-movie veteran, Paul Greengrass, I was skeptical about how "Legacy" would churn out its adrenaline-pumping nature, but I was caught by surprise by how "The Bourne Legacy" delivers frenetic, cut-to-cut action sequences -- albeit, not enough and not as well. However, "Legacy" is by far, the worst installment of any of the Bournes. No, it's not the subpar action contrasting to the likes of Greengrass; it's not because the writing and characters are uninteresting; it's merely because the narrative suffers from linear and uninteresting plot points. With a premise consisting of the aftermath of Bourne's actions and how these actions affects the rest of the assets within the program, it would seem like a hugely entertaining film. But this premise isn't fully elaborated on.

In the end, "The Bourne Legacy" is a good film, not a great one. Coupled with charismatic performances from the likes of Jeremy Renner and Edward Norton, the typical sharp writing that is to be expected from the Bourne series, and riveting action set-pieces, "Legacy" doesn't disappoint in the entertainment department. But will it leave a lasting impression like the previous installments. Nowhere near so.
Super Reviewer
December 5, 2012
There Was Never Just One.

Good movie! Jeremy Renner is a talented actor with serious range and complexity. However, the character he plays is not much of a character and the script that he has to work with is riddled with cliché after cliché. He can do anything a secret agent can do but better but the character is not very compelling or interesting to say the least. Jason Bourne was a compelling character that needed to find himself and through that journey in the original trilogy, we saw complexities that were compelling and thoughtful. He was a conflicted man whose drive was dictated by an inner sense of redemption. The character of Aaron Cross is a cartoon character compared to Jason and that is the main problem of the script for this movie. It is though Renner's efforts as an actor that we care about the character of Aaron Cross and that is one of the few bright spots this film has. Renner injects likability and vulnerability to this character and because of it, we want him to succeed in beating the bad guy and save the girl but Renner is working with a script that goes against itself and we are left with a half fast story that deals with supermen than a human story about survival. It is through Renner's efforts as an actor that we see humanity and conflict in this character while the script itself does not give that sort of detail and Renner is working overtime to accomplish that. Renner would have done wonders with a compelling character like Jason Bourne, unfortunately that is not found with the character of Aaron Cross.

Rachel Weisz is one of the most versatile, gifted and complex actors working today. An actor's actor in every sense of word but like Renner, she does not have much of a character thanks to the cliché script they both have to work with. Her character is on the run with Cross through out the film and acts as his doctor and object of protection. It is through Weisz's amazing strength and range as an actor that we are able to witness levels of complexity and humanity in the character of Dr Marta Shearing that we really do not get from the script. Because of that, we are not only able to care and identify with her but Weisz actually makes her character more complex and interesting than Aaron Cross himself. You can tell that Weisz was working overtime in achieving that and her efforts pay off ten fold, which is a blessing considering that most of the characters outside of her and Renner come across as cardboard cutouts.

Renner and Weisz do their best to remake a film which was already pretty great. Yes, they have new names and faces, but they are running from the same agency, dodging the same bullets, but this time they have a higher chromosomal level on their side. The Bourne Legacy will be known as that film which derailed the very respectable Bourne franchise. Paul Greengrass, the director of The Bourne Supremacy and The Bourne Ultimatum, was correct when he said any further film would feel like The Bourne Redundancy.

The events in this movie takes place around the same time that the events in The Bourne Ultimatum. When a British reporter was writing an expose about Black Ops operations Treadstone and Black Briar, and the ones responsible for them are concerned. And when Jason Bourne, former Treadstone operative got the file on Treadstone and Black Briar and gave it to Pamela Landy who them passed it to the media. When the men behind Treadstone and Black Briar learn of this, they're concerned how this will affects other ops they have. They decide it's best to shut down all ops and make sure make everyone involved disappears. They try to take out Aaron Cross who is part of another op called Outcome, but he manages to survive. He then seeks out Dr. Marta Shearing who worked on him when he began. It seems part of the program is for all subjects to take medications but he has run out, which is why he seeks her. But someone tries to kill her. He saves her and she tells him, he should have stopped taking the meds long ago. They go to Manila so that she can help him. Later the men behind Outcome learn that Cross and Shearing are still alive. They try to get them.
Super Reviewer
½ August 8, 2012
At times a series will venture in new territory and it would be a gamble, it will either succeed or fail. This fourth film tries to do something different while using the standards of the previous entries. I usually enjoy something daring, something that tries to reinvent a series. With The Bourne Legacy there's some good material on-screen, but it is underdeveloped and lacks the intensity of previous Bourne films, which are some of the best Spy Thrillers to grace the screen in the last ten years. Despite the lacking plot, Jeremy Renner is good here, and he manages to give his all with such mundane material. The problem with this entry is that tries too hard at outdoing the last one, and rightfully so, because The Bourne Ultimatum is a very hard film to top. Is this a bad film, not really, but it doesn't stand out and it is quite forgettable in the long run. Despite a good cast, the film just doesn't have anything worthwhile. The idea of introducing a new character and focusing the plot on him instead of Jason Bourne was tempting, but it just doesn't pay off. There can't be a Bourne film without the titular character and Matt Damon. Those were the key to the film's success, remove that and you a decent spy flick with a few minor thrills, and that is what this film is. I really wanted to enjoy this one, and with this cast, I was expecting something truly wonderful, but I have to say, this is a disappointment. Trying something new didn't pay off because they cut out the character of Bourne altogether aside from mentioning him, which isn't enough in my book. Decent, but ultimately forgettable and it's a shame because I love Jeremy Renner and Edward Norton. The film could have been so much better and it lacks in some areas and as a Bourne flick, it just doesn't have that touch that made the first three such standout films.
Super Reviewer
February 21, 2012
An adrenaline-pumping and explosive thriller. It`s a total knockout that will keep you on the edge of your seat in suspense and non-stop action. Director, Tony Gilroy keeps the Bourne series intact with this one following the events in the third film, bringing new life and another character that manages to keep us hooked until the last shot. It`s a riveting, compelling and absorbing thrill-ride. This Bourne has the most attitude yet and surprisingly delivers. A stylish, memorable and insanely cool action flick. It`s filled with well-crafted action sequences and chases scenes that will blow your mind. A pulse-pounding action-packed tour de force. A well-paced story with lots of ideas and great characters to fill in the gaps of the other films. Jeremy Renner is terrific, he makes himself into a worthy action hero and does more than carry the mantle that Matt Damon left behind, but leaves alot of option open for a team-up in the future, which i would be excited for. Edward Norton is excellent. Rachel Weisz is marvelous. It is not the best Bourne in the series, but it certainly does the trick to being entertaining.
Super Reviewer
October 14, 2012
As far as entertainment, this movie passes. However, the story is really simple and the action sequences, like in all action films, drag on. I generally do not like action movies, but this one is slightly better than your typical action film...just slightly.
Super Reviewer
September 18, 2012
'The Bourne Legacy'. A smart action flick that sits nicely in the Bourne world. Sold on Renner, Weisz a very worthy addition!

With all the mixed reviews this has been getting, and my utter adoration for the Bourne series, I came into this film quite sceptical. The crossing of the timelines between 'The Bourne Ultimatum' and this that plays out in the first half hour got me completely on board, as Gilroy set up Aaron Cross, tied the worlds together and expanded the scope through geography. It was all cut together nicely, and I sympathised with Cross' very personal mission.

The drone takedown sequence was smart, suspenseful and exhilarating, really selling me on Cross' abilities, set to the stunning Alaskan landscape. Then there's that lab scene.

Zeljko Ivanek doesn't have much screen time in this film; he makes the most of it. Viable delivers a gut-wrenching, cold, tense assassination scene as he walks slowly around the lab shooting his helpless colleagues. I felt like I was holding my breath the entire time.

The ending felt a little abrupt, and I was left thinking "Oh, that's it?". Guess I was enjoying the ride and thought Norton's driven Byer had more to set upon Cross. He's a "villain" that I was rooting for equally as much as Renner, and wanted the game between them to continue a whole lot longer.

Renner and Weisz are [obviously] great together. I'm totally on board for the sequel.
Super Reviewer
½ September 1, 2012
"You were given a Ferrari and your people treated it like a lawnmower."

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.

Set on the backdrop of the search for Jason Bourne, Aaron Cross and his group of drug enhanced secret operatives are put on a hit list when their programme is closed down. Thought dead and dependant on experimental drugs, he seeks the assistance of marked-for-death lab doctor who knows of the governments operations. Jeremy Renner despite being type cast yet again as a crack shot (28 Weeks Later, The Avengers, The Hurt Locker) holds the lead as Aaron Cross well. With a smudge of James Belushi and intensity and execution of Daniel Craig's 007 Renner handles the drama and fight scenes of the former soldier, now super operative superbly with ease. The opening scene carry much of the tension and suspense as Cross meets up with his counterpart and tries to escape wolves and a bombing drone. There's breathtaking action, notably a bike chase, which is fast paced and wonderfully shot by director/writer Tony Gilroy.

Continuing the series tradition with a cast of heavy weights, Edward Norton and the marvelous Stacy Keach put in first-rate appearances. Rachel Weisz is on form as Marta Shearing and carries the emotion during the events of Legacy, her arc feels genuine especially as her and Cross' friendship develops. While former cast members including Scott Glenn, Albert Finney and Joan Allen are reduced to cameos, video footage and photos which link the series. These connections are significant as the story runs parallel to Bourne's conclusion. Nevertheless, Legacy follows The Bourne Identity's format a little much to the letter, scenes are reminiscent of the first outing. It lacks the intrigue of the others and is less than subtle in referencing Damon's outings. The ending feels abrupt but welcoming as it sets up an inevitable sequel that hopefully won't follow the retread the same ground as The Bourne Supremacy. There's less espionage, more action with enough surprises to keep the legacy alive although it does tread some same stones.
Super Reviewer
August 15, 2012
What a let down to the Bourne Franchise! Being a huge fan of the bourne movies i thought yes a fourth one this could be awesome, however its a let down. I like the cast but really it just seemed like a remake of the first one with simple and minor differences! Boring and unoriginal not a good installment!
Super Reviewer
½ March 23, 2012
Compared to the previous three Bourne movies with the lead role Matt Damon as Jason Bourne, to be honest (even though Renner is one of my favorite actor) 'The Bourne Legacy' is definitely the weakest if I compared it from the story.. Tony Gilroy's directing style wasn't anywhere near Doug Liman's in the first movie or even worser far from the great directing style from Paul Greengrass in Supremacy & Ultimatum.. While from the story itself, I think Gilroy get a little confused to lead the story where to begin since he can't get a helping hand from Matt Damon again as Jason Bourne.. The cast are amazing I think, casting a lot of Oscar nominated & winner actors and actress definitely will made this movie more interesting to be watched but IMHO only Edward Norton that gave the strongest performance in this movie.. I'm a little disappointed with Renner's performance since the director can't get the best of him just like his performance as Hawkeye in 'The Avengers' this year, even though his performance wasn't that bad.. For Rachel Weisz, she gave a good performance even though not as good as Norton's.. The only positive thing about this movie, but also help this movie a lot, is the action scenes in Manila which will definitely made the audience's heart beats faster since it's been a whole crazy ride of action scenes.. Overall, looking from the sequel possibility from the ending of this movie, I just hope that the producer bring at least Matt Damon back or if they can convince Greengrass to back again, I think he would be an excellent addition but I would still love to see both Jeremy Renner and Rachel Weisz in the sequel..
Super Reviewer
September 3, 2012
Grade: D (65%)

I loved the Bourne Trilogy. All three films were action packed, superbly acted and had a story that was both suspenseful and dramatic. Matt Damon became a true action hero thanks to "The Bourne Identity" back in 2002 and has become such a well known actor ever since. Identity, Supremacy, and Ultimatum were all worth watching for either the well directed action or just the fantastic storyline.

The films should've stopped there. "The Bourne Legacy" isn't a horrible film by any means but - like "Men in Black 3" - it wasn't needed. The Bourne Trilogy should've ended in 2007 but since there were other books (not by Robert Ludlum who wrote the original trilogy), it was only a matter of time before Tredstone would return.

"The Bourne Legacy" takes place during the final parts of Ultimatum where Tredstone wants to end the program by assassinating nine highly trained agents - one of which is Aaron Cross (Jeremy Renner) who, like Jason Bourne, is able to protect himself in every which way. He leaps from the top of buildings to the floor, climbs walls with pure strength and is able to knock out more than one enemy at once without breaking a sweat. And, being the lone survivor of the attack, he goes and tracks down Dr. Marta Shearing (Rachel Weisz) who can help him retrieve pills that he needs to keep himself in check.

The story isn't as interesting as the other films mainly because the premise is so much different. In the original trilogy, Jason Bourne was trying to remember who he was and how he became one of the top agents of Tredstone. "Legacy" isn't like that at all. While it may keep the Bourne name in the title and Jason Bourne might be mentioned, the film no longer focuses around Matt Damon's character. This is where the film truly disappoints because audiences will expect Aaron to figure out who he was before Tredstone but never even comes close.

The main reason why "Legacy" was made was for the action. Action was the reason why the trilogy was so famous - it was intense, violent and extremely entertaining. And "Legacy" does a good job of delivering the action. When Aaron takes on more than three guys at once and knocks them out in five seconds, you can't help but chuckle - not because its dumb - but because its so amazing how the action was done. Tony Gilroy, the screenwriter of the Bourne Trilogy, returns to direct this film and does a great job of showing intense action without going over-the-top all the time.

Now since this is a Bourne film with no Jason Bourne, there is no Matt Damon to fill in as the main character. Luckily, Jeremy Renner does a superb job as Aaron. We have seen Renner in previous action flicks (The Town) where he was nominated for his roles as a ruthless action star. In "Legacy", its more of the same which is great. He truly fits into the leading role very well . . . . even if I kind of wish Matt Damon was in the film.

"The Bourne Legacy", to me, is just another action film. The violence, the car chases, the rundowns are all great to watch but after a while you have to ask yourself, "Besides the action, was it still interesting to watch"? The fact is that "Legacy" is so different when compared to the other films. The story didn't excite me, the suspense wasn't always existent and the ending of the film can hint at future Bourne films. And since there are four more books after "Legacy", I won't be surprised to see more Bourne films in the future. But people who loved the original trilogy will watch "Legacy" and ask themselves, "Are more Bourne movies REALLY necessary"? It's difficult to say. But, while entertaining, "The Bourne Ultimatum" should've been the last Bourne film to be made. "Legacy" is an action flick that just doesn't live up to the hype of its predecessors.
Super Reviewer
August 25, 2012
Boring and confusing. But since my movie-mates enjoyed it, I suppose it was just me who was bored and confused. The office shooting should have been the inciting incident, but the movie takes up the entire first act with exposition regarding Jason Bourne. The final moped chase scene is freakin' fifteen minutes long. It even ends the same as the first, with the couple sailing off on some tropical azure-hued sea.
Super Reviewer
August 10, 2012
The newest installment in the 'Bourne' franchise isn't a waste of time or money, but some may question its purpose. Although the action sequences are just as thrilling as ever, the story proves to falter. Nothing about the plot seems engaging or meaningful, probably because it feels forced and not entirely relevant of the Jason Bourne story. Renner and Weisz are still great in the lead roles, but similar to this summer's reboot of the Spiderman franchise, we have to ask; was this necessary?
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