The Bourne Legacy Reviews
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.