365 Movies By Day Reviews of Movies I Watch that I Feel Like Writing About

19Aug/120

The Bourne Legacy (2012)

Fans of the Jason Bourne Trilogy (The Bourne Identity, The Bourne Supremacy, The Bourne Ultimatum) will, in all likelihood, enjoy The Matt Damon-less The Bourne Legacy. However, I'm not sure how many new fans this movie will attract. Director Tony Gilroy (Michael Clayton, Duplicity) references Jason Bourne a number of times in this movie. Those looking to enter the franchise and think that this is the right time due to the fact that Jeremy Renner (The Town, The Hurt Locker) is cast in the lead role instead of Damon are going to be disappointed if they didn't do their homework ahead of time. I think I would have been very frustrated watching this movie without seeing the other three first. I would have wanted to better understand what was going on. In The Bourne Legacy, Gilroy doesn't seem interested in recapping a story that has already been told. If you haven't seen a previous Bourne movie or if you hadn't done your research ahead of time, you are out of luck. Gilroy feels it's not his job to keep you informed. For those wishing to see this movie without seeing any of the predecessors or if it has been awhile since you've seen The Bourne Ultimatum, I would encourage you to visit this site first. http://www.eonline.com/news/336577/the-bourne-legacy-primer-five-things-to-know-before-seeing-the-franchise-s-latest-flick. Heck, even if you saw The Bourne Ultimatum the night before seeing this movie, I'd still recommend checking out this link. It won't hurt to do so. 

This story takes place after Jason Bourne has gone rouge and is looking to expose the Treadstone Operation. The CIA has already caught a whiff of the story and is digging deeper. Retired Colonel Eric Byer (Edward Norton - American History X, Fight Club) is the head of a new program called Outcome that is similar to Treadstone with one major exception. The Treadstone program basically trained its agents to be assassins. Outcome is more involved with espionage programs. While killing is often still a requirement of its agents, it is not its soul purpose. However, the programs fall under the same branch of the U.S. Military and Byer feels the need to shutdown the entire program and temporarily hide away all of its blueprints and intelligence. As a result, all of the agents in the Outcome program need to be eliminated. This involves substituting two pills that that the agents are required to take to help them maintain their physical and mental advantages as well as their dexterity, endurance, reflexes, etc. with one new super pill. The new pill results in the agents dropping to their death within a few hours of intake.

Aaron Cross (Renner) is one of those agents who is on a training mission in northern Alaska. The film spends 30 minutes going back and forth between scenes involving Aaron fighting wolves, jumping between mountain cliffs, and navigating through the Alaskan wilderness and scenes involving the steps that Byer needs to go through to shutdown the program. The problem with eliminating Cross is he's off the grid. Whereas Byer knows where exactly all of his other agents are, all he knows about Aaron is that he's somewhere in Alaska. However, Aaron, like all agents has a monitoring chip installed in his body and, after seeing the post of an agent he was staying with destroyed by a tracking drone, knows that something is not right and that the company is trying to eliminate him.

So the game begins of cat and mouse. Aaron needs to not only survive, but needs to get his medicine to combat the withdrawal symptoms he knows he will soon experience. Enter Marta Shearing (Rachel Weisz - The Fountain, The Lovely Bones), a research scientist in the program who is one of a few who administer and monitor the drugs that each of the agents takes. Through reasons which won't be discussed here, Aaron needs her and she needs him. I thought Weisz 's acting was terrible in this movie for the most part. I didn't think she was believable at all and even the talented Renner couldn't carry her through scenes which required extended periods of dialogue. When she and Renner were trying to have serious conversations, I couldn't help but shake my head and wonder how she got cast in this role.

The Bourne Legacy is a decent watch. It would be an even better popcorn flick if the 2 hour and 15 minute run time could be cut down to maybe 1 hour and 40 minutes. It's way too long. The movie is not going to win any sort of awards. The acting is below average. As mentioned above, Weisz was miscast and so was Norton. I actually am not a fan of Norton at all anymore. As good as he was early on in his career, most notably with Primal Fear, American History X, and The 25th Hour, he's just an annoyance anytime I see him on the screen now. The action scenes fail in comparison to the previous movies. The plot is more complex than it needs to be. The chase scenes, in obvious attempts to live up to the predecessors, are long and unbelievable.  The one great thing that I will say about it is that it uses state of the art technology. It's 2012 and The Bourne Legacy uses 2012 surveillance techniques to track Cross and Shearing. In one scene, technology is used to identify potential suspects and eliminate others from a pool of individuals who were previously unknown. At first, you wonder how Byer and his crew can catch a scent of the trial and the follow it to its correct destination as quickly as they can. But before you can really question it, you convince yourself that this is the day and age we live in now and this is definitely possible.

If you're a fan of the series, see this movie. I'd see this movie. There are going to be more in this franchise and probably will result with Bourne and Cross being in the same movie together. If you just think the Bourne movies are okay or if you haven't seen any of them, don't make this one your first. You'll be frustrated and disappointed.

Plot 6.5/10
Character Development 6.5/10
Character Chemistry 6/10
Acting 6.5/10
Screenplay 6/10
Directing  7.5/10
Cinematography 8.5/10
Sound 7/10
Hook and Reel 7.5/10 (I liked it, but I could see how most would think the beginning is too slow and too long)
Universal Relevance 6/10 (been there, done that...in hundreds of movies and television shows)
68%

 

 

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