Finally got the chance to go see the latest in the Bourne movie series today, Bourne Legacy. This time around we don’t actually follow Jason Bourne, instead we are introduced to another agent being run through a similar, yet different program along side the Trent Stone program Bourne was a part of. His name (or at least what he goes by) is Aaron Cross, played by the seemingly everywhere all of a sudden, Jeremy Renner. Like all Bourne movies, he needs a female companion if he hopes to get anywhere, and this time it’s Dr. Marta Shearing, played by Rachel Weisz. Bourne Legacy has some strong talent behind it, it’s even written by the same guy (Tony Gilroy) who did all the other Bourne movies, but it has a lot to live up to considering how strong all 3 previous entries into the series have been.
I can easily say that I enjoyed this movie, and I think it has a lot of good moments in it. The film has several very distinct and different settings that really split the story up into something like chapters, with at least 1 action set-piece in each one, if not more. Sadly the action is never quite as inventive and fresh feelings as the other movies, but I think that may be due to this film having a new director, Tony Gilroy, who is oddly enough, one of the writers. All the films have been written by Mr. Gilroy, but the previous 2 movies were directed by Paul Greengrass who unfortunately doesn’t return for this installment, and I think that might show in some of the action. Not that the fights aren’t good, they just aren’t as good as the previous films.
Another nitpick on the film is that you don’t often see the big hits or the final crash like I wish you did. There just seem to be a lot of hits either off camera, or the person goes out of frame or behind an object at just the right time. My bet is that is a bit of genius camera directing to save budget on effects shots or something. Nevertheless, it ended up sticking out to me, especially in a few big action scenes.
I thought the acting was really good. Jeremy Renner is great, but it is a little weird seeing our Bourne substitute acting so different in terms of personality. He’s much more friendly and talkative than Bourne was. It at least made Aaron Cross stand out as being more unique and not just another cold-hearted agent. Rachel Weisz surprised me by how much I bought her scientist character, although she does seem to become the damsel in distress quite a lot. Also Edward Norton is good in this as one of the government agents doing his best to track Aaron Cross down and keep everything secret and under wraps.
I liked the story and noticing all the little details going on in the background near the beginning that show how this movie is taking place parallel to the other Bourne films. You keep hearing reports of where Jason Bourne is and what he’s doing. That of course could be one of this film’s weaknesses as well, since there’s a lot of weird information being thrown at the audience that some might not pick up on. I do think that will make Bourne Legacy stronger upon rewatching of the previous films though, since it will give a better idea of the time frame going on.
As I said, I enjoyed Bourne Legacy and most of the negatives I can think of are more just nitpicks. Actually, this might even be the “worst” of the series, but considering how good all of the other movies are, that certainly doesn’t mean this is a bad movie. It could be better in some areas, but it does also have to introduce a whole new set of characters while keeping it in line with the other movies. There’s a lot to live up to, and I think this entry does an admirable job. I’m looking forward to the next entry.