Directed by Tony Gilroy
Release date: July 30, 2012
Reviewed by Kelsie Beers
QUICK HIT — Action packed and dramatic, The Bourne Legacy may not wholly live up to the brilliant intricacies woven in the original trilogy, but is nonetheless a worthwhile watch.
Jason Bourne’s place in the series named for him concluded satisfactorily at the end of Ultimatum. Unfortunately for Aaron Cross, that was not the end of the story. There never was just one.
This movie deals with the fallout of the events that take place in Identity, Supremacy, and Ultimatum, while still operating as a suitable standalone. Set in what amounts to a “flash sideways”, actions of characters in the classic trilogy affect what goes on in Legacy, but an understanding of the first three movies isn’t necessary to figure out what’s going on — whatever previous information is pertinent is re-explained.
Jeremy Renner plays a CIA operative, a genetically-altered field agent of the Outcome program, separate from Bourne’s Treadstone. But the agents in charge are desperate to avoid a repeat of Treadstone, desperate enough to go any length to destroy all similar programs. Enter our two characters, a pair of agents — one fieldworker, one scientist — sentenced to death with the destruction of Outcome. Their subsequent attempts to escape death at any cost make up the majority of the movie.
The Bourne Legacy is far more straightforward than the complex plots that Bourne fans are accustomed to. Bad guys chase good guys, intense action scenes ensue, stuff blows up, and people get punched in the face. This is not a suspense movie; it’s all-out action with the beginnings of character development. Legacy is pretty clearly a set-up for following films with Renner in the lead role, because lots of backstory is hinted at but left unexplored. This really means that Legacy cannot be accurately compared to the first trilogy. The simple plot is excusable — the story is only just beginning — and definitely not less enjoyable.
If you go to this movie expecting Matt-Damon-As-Jason-Bourne’s story, you’ll be disappointed. Instead, take this as the beginning of something new. I for one am excited to see where the story leads.
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