Friday, August 10, 2012

Jason reviews The Bourne Legacy

We've been pretty critical of Universal's attempt to continue its action franchise without star Matt Damon and the character for which the series is named. Then previews appeared showing The Bourne Legacy to fit nicely into the Bourne universe while expanding on it at the same time. But how does it all hold up?

In the wake of Jason Bourne's dismemberment of Operation Blackbriar, the CIA decides to dispose of their other black-ops programs, which includes the termination of field agents. However, Aaron Cross (Jeremy Renner), an agent from Operation Outcome, escapes and, with the help of an Outcome scientist (Rachel Weisz), sets out to get even with those who tried to kill him.

I'm going to start with the obvious: The Bourne Legacy isn't as good as the other Bourne films. It comes close at times, mostly during the action scenes, but it takes too long to warm up and doesn't come to a satisfying conclusion. The door is left wide open for more, which just adds to the stench of this being a cash grab.

That said, if you're going to make a movie strictly to cash in on a brand name, this is how you do it. From the musical cues to the bone-crunching fight scenes and thrilling finale -- which features a 20-minute long foot and motorcycle chase in Manila -- The Bourne Legacy has all the Bourne trademarks. And there's plenty of references to the previous films. In fact, the first 45 minutes of this movie take place during The Bourne Ultimatum. 

Jeremy Renner is good as Cross and Rachel Weisz is always convincing . . . and she just gets better looking with age. Edward Norton is also good, playing the film's villain as someone who doesn't know he's supposed to be the bad guy. He's just a dude doing his job. I liked that.

I also appreciate seeing Scott Glenn, Joan Allen and regulars from the first three movies pop up in cameos. There is an honest effort on the part of writer/director Tony Gilroy to connect this Bourne to the others. He tries hard, and I respect that.

But this isn't a Bourne movie. Matt Damon is sorely missed and, as much as I enjoyed the exploits of Aaron Cross, I want Jason Bourne back.

Will I revisit The Bourne Legacy or not? That's the No. 1 question isn't it. I certainly recommend this to fans of the series, and liked the last hour enough to slog through the beginning again. This rates a Good from me, despite there being no justifiable reason for the film to exist in the first place.


  1. Just got home from seeing this and I have to agree with your review 100%
    Absolutely no point in it, a valiant effort, good cast but ultimately a bit hollow and badly paced.

  2. Thanks Jay. I am going to take in this movie as a big fan of the Bourne series. But will miss Damon, too.

  3. if i watch this for 30 min minuts will i be amused or angry angry as being with Abraham Lincoln Vampire Hunter grrrrr just typing the name pisses me off.

    1. Having refused to see Abraham Lincoln on principle, I can't say. But this is worth the watch. And Cindy, let me know what you think!