10 August 2012 912 Views

“The Bourne Legacy” Review: Deeper Conspiracy Trumps Intense Action Sequences

by Michael Lee

The Bourne Legacy is the fourth Bourne film in the franchise and the first to continue on without its titular character (famously played by Matt Damon). So it wouldn’t be classified as a sequel or a reboot, but just a continuation of a story that expands the universe as a whole. Introduction of new characters combined with some very familiar faces keep the spirit of Bourne alive, but these new additions added a bit of confusion to conspiracy that is the Bourne franchise. Hit the jump for more.

Bourne screenwriter Tony Gilroy takes charge as the director of The Bourne Legacy, replacing Paul Greengrass, who directed the previous two. His insight and knowledge to the film did help in forwarding the film in a whole new but strange direction. For instance, the film reveals that the program participations aren’t born with the skill to kill, but rather, they have been enhanced by numerous alterations.

Sometimes these reveals can hurt the film, seeing as many want to believe that there are people who are physically capable to doing some serious damage without doping. Alas this is where Gilroy wants to go, and the audience is forced to accept this notion.

Jeremy Renner plays as Aaron Cross a recently outed spy who escaped a purge of those who participated in the program. Cross needs to find the “chems” necessary to go on and this leads him to saving the life of Dr. Marta Shearing (Rachel Weisz), who helped design these chems and also survived a fellow doctor going postal. Out on the run, the two must find a way to stay under the radar under the watchful eye of the CIA.

While the first three Bourne films have been known to have a lot of action sequences, The Bourne Legacy seems to lack that in quantity. But the quality of those scenes is just as intense as the first three Bourne films. Add some survival man skills to the mix, and you got yourself a new Jason Bourne, or should I say Aaron Cross. But these scenes are just too and far in-between that during the long dialogue scenes you just want to see more fists flying and cars crashing.

But Renner has a perfect handle on what to do in certain situations. He makes use of almost every little item in his surrounding environment, that unexpected use of what he sees makes the film that much more unpredictable. Weisz may play as the doctor with zero combat skills, but she displays some action potential in a few key scenes.

The other aspect of the film that just drags along is the fact that there is just so much detail and explanation as to who these program participants are, and why is the CIA going so far as a purge to clean their hands. A lot of the material could have been saved for future sequels, and perhaps some of the stuff that had been cut out is being saved, alas, this is what Gilroy has given his audience and it’s what the audience has to endure.

Probably one of the biggest issues of the film is that it just abruptly ends, with Eric Byer (Edward Norton) just raising his hands and giving up the chase. Though Byer doesn’t lift a finger to fight, he does have a commanding presence that shows if you cross him, you will regret it. Still, it’s not the kind of conclusion the audience deserves, but once again, it’s the one that Gilroy gives us, so they just have to accept it for what it is.

Despite some of the problems about the agents who participated in the program not being naturally skillful, or there being too few action scenes, or the abrupt ending, the film is a satisfactory continuation of a universe that has yet to be explored.



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