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.