IN THEATERS ON DVD
THE BOURNE LEGACY
The fourth installment of the highly successful Bourne series sees the return of the franchise's screenwriter, Tony Gilroy, this time stepping into the director's seat for an entry which sidelines main character Jason Bourne in order to focus on a fellow estranged assassin (Jeremy Renner). Edward Norton and Rachel Weisz co-star, with Joan Allen and Albert Finney reprising their roles from the previous films. ~ Jeremy Wheeler, Rovi
Director: Tony Gilroy
Cast: Jeremy Renner, Edward Norton, Rachel Weisz, Joan Allen, Albert Finney
Release Date: Aug 10, 2012
Rated PG-13 for Violence and Action Sequences
Runtime: 2 hr. 15 min.
Genres: Action/Adventure, Suspense/Thriller
The Bourne Legacy is one of those films that come into being because of behind the scenes issues. Paul Greengrass had a falling out with the studio which made Matt Damon bow out; the studio didn’t want to let an established franchise die on the vine. It’s just one of those odd births that lead us into The Bourne Legacy which is an effective if slightly bland supplement to the Bourne trilogy. The write around is well done, covering a story that occurs parallel to the 3rd film thereby keeping it firmly established in the world. Tony Gilroy isn’t afraid to reference or even give visual cues to the trilogy, the opening shot and final scene offer some nice symmetry with the Damon led films. The general conceit of the film works fine but the script suffers a tad from over explanation. Lots of expositional conversations occur in the first half, the type were people include their job title and schooling in conversations so the audience is up to speed. It’s a slow waltz up to the crux of the story which might leave some a bit surprised at the lack of actual action in this action film, especially in the first half. Lots of techno babble about pills and back office government agencies with a very upset Edward Norton screaming out orders take us to Jeremy Renner’s Cross. Renner’s conversion into an action star is more or less complete and as Cross he’s effective but outside of being overly chatty Cross is kind of bland. The character feels strangely underwritten, leaving us with an easily forgettable lead. Rachel Weisz is mostly regulated to a constant state of panic intermixed with jogging through Manila slums. Her performance is fine but the character feels incredibly one note. So much so that when the big action set piece hits in all it’s parkour/motorcycle glory I was kind of hoping she die to give Cross some deeper motivation for survival. Legacy isn’t a bad film by any stretch and there are worse ways to spend 2 hours but in reality the only way it would have been worthwhile would have been if Cross ran into Bourne in the final reel, maybe someday.