The Bourne Legacy
The Bourne Legacy picks up where the last episode left off. Jason Bourne and Pamela Landy have just exposed both Operation Treadstone and Blackbriar to the public. The CIA has now ordered all of their black ops programs to be scrapped. This includes eliminating all agents in similar programs like Operation Outcome of which Aaron Cross is a member. Apparently we’ve come to accept that the U.S. government will go to any lengths to keep its ugly secrets from getting out. If that means murdering the dedicated agents it helped train, then so be it. That speaks volumes over the distrustful view that U.S. citizens have over their own government. But that’s a discussion for a political forum. This is a movie review.
Overall The Bourne Legacy isn’t really up to the standard of the other three in the series, but that doesn’t mean it’s not an entertaining thriller. Paul Greengrass has decided to leave as director and with his departure, Matt Damon as well. Tony Gilroy, the constant screenwriter of the tetralogy, steps into the directors chair. (Yes I had to look that word up) Tony Gilroy falls short of Greengrass’ assured direction, save for one key area. Paul Greengrass’ hyperactive jerky camera work is thankfully absent. Gilroy’s steady cinematography is much appreciated when trying to follow hand to hand combat. There are several fight/chase scenes and they’re so much more exciting when you can actually see what’s happening.
First the good. Jeremy Renner and Rachel Weisz are welcome additions to the cast. Renner assumes the lead role of Aaron Cross and he brings a humanity to the part. He may not be as charismatic as Matt Damon, but what he lacks in personality he makes up for in empathy. His protagonist is more man than machine. The supporting cast is quite important this time around. Both Rachel Weisz and Edward Norton have sizable roles that are just as intrinsic to the story as Renner’s. Rachel Weisz in particular is one of the best things about the film. She plays Dr. Marta Shearing, a doctor who is developing a medication given to the secret operatives to make them stronger and smarter. Part of the legacy of actresses like Sigourney Weaver and Linda Hamilton is that we usually get heroines that are superhuman in strength and devoid of weaknesses like emotion. Rachel Weisz is so refreshing in that she is allowed to express fear and vulnerability. She even screams in one scene. Alright so it’s a warning scream. Granted she remains extremely capable. There are instances where she displays feats 99% of the human population couldn’t do. However there’s that 1% where she still appears human and that makes her endearing.
Storywise, The Bourne Legacy is the least captivating entry of the franchise thus far. It’s also got sort of a generic non ending that feels as if nothing has been resolved. The story is left wide open. I wouldn’t be surprised if Matt Damon returns in The Bourne Betrayal. Dueling agents perhaps? While the plot lacks a certain oomph, it’s not horrible. While I was watching, I was entertained. It’s just that when I sit and think about it, the whole production seems rather underwhelming. I am a fan of the series, plus I do like Jeremy Renner and Rachel Weisz and for those reasons, I’ll give this a pass. The excellent action sequences peppered throughout go a long way in making this watchable. Go in with low expectations and you should be entertained.