Jeremy Renner stars in the continuation of the adrenaline pumping Bourne films, in, The Bourne Legacy.
First off I’m a big fan of Renner (28 Weeks Later & The Hurt Locker were two brilliant performances), as well as Norton (Fight Club & Italian Job) and Rachel Weisz (The Mummy). Secondly I love the Bourne franchise that’s been built up with the first three films, really put Matt Damon in the spotlight for his amazingly solid performances. So yes… I was very excited by this film!
So the film takes place at the tale end of The Bourne Ultimatum, with scenes from that film spliced into Legacy, to highlight the overlapping chronological events in these two films. A nice touch that would have been better if Matt Damon had some screen time. Although it was a clever way of tying two related-by-name films together, especially as the main casts were all different, it was poorly executed in my eyes. On the flip side it was nice to see many short sequences with the familiar faces of Pam Landy, Ezra Kramer and Noah Vosen.
The Bourne Legacy, it’s all in the trailer
The film is edited in quite a strange manner, action-scenes a plenty, but with lots of flashbacks and jump cuts to other contrasting events. In the middle of some Arctic action scenes for example, we cut to a dimly lit board room, full of suits, who we have no idea who they are. After a baffling dry conversation between some very overworked high officials, we jump back to the snowy wilderness. Rather disconcerting and poorly edited in my opinion.
Many times it seems the director had an idea or clever thought, but lacked the ingenuity on how or why to perform it. A clear example of this is the very elaborate Arctic wolf capturing scene. Moments just begging the question, “why?”.
Without spoiling any of the plot, I’ll just point out that there isn’t much of one. This for me really distances The Bourne Legacy from the first three films. I’m still not sure why the agency decide to act on their programmes in the way they did, due to some YouTube video they see. All poorly explained.
A ridiculous mission is hatched by Renner, without much of a reasonable explanation as to why, except my suspicion that they thought the chase scenes would look better in a exotic location (as rural India was done in Supremacy, and chaotic American urban streets were done in Ultimatum). Renner does mention, in perhaps a 1 or 2 liner as to why this ridiculous mission has to succeed, but it seemed very much thrown in without any of the previous Bourne plot-complexity.
Renner, Weisz and Norton. How’d they do?
Although the film lacked the plot complexity, the tension, the suspense and feel of the original trilogy, replacing it with more of a James Bond or Die Hard action feel to it, the main saving grace was the acting.
The performances put in Renner, Weisz and Norton saved this film from being terrible in my opinion. The only other thing this film had going for it was the action scenes, of which they’re nearly all shown in the trailer, and they still don’t measure up to the trilogy’s martial – arts and weapon scenes.
Bourne Legacy – the conclusion
So all in all I’d unfortunately putting this down as quite an average film. I’d probably not even bother picking it up cheap on DVD as I’ll just stick with the original 3. Soz Renner et al!