Thanks to Universal Pictures, we had the chance to see director Tony Gilroy’s new comedy The Bourne Legacy before its Australian cinematic release. This is our review of the film – but as usual – no matter what we say; we recommend that you still go to your local cinema and see the film because: There is no better critic than yourself!
The Bourne Legacy follows the story of The Bourne Ultimatum (2007) where once again the CIA tries to cover their own mistakes with Retired Col. Eric Byer (Edward Norton) ordering the immediate termination of all field agents. It all seems to go well for Byer until Aaron Cross (Jeremy Renner), a new top agent who was part of the Operation Outcome program gets in his way, rescuing a targeted scientist Dr. Marta Shearing (Rachel Weisz) of the team in charge of administrating drugs to genetically modify agents skills.
Both of them managed to escape their trackers, embarking on their own investigation of certain past events and a solution to make Aaron’s enhancements permanent, which compromises and exposes some high level underground operations regarding the program.
This new Bourne film tries to resurrect the highly successful franchise led off by Matt Damon, this time bringing The Avengers star Jeremy Renner as an agent to initiate a new saga. But this didn’t work in our opinion because not even Tony Gilroy’s experience as the script writer of the past 3 Bourne films (now behind the camera) saves this action flick. It is confusing and quite slow paced, lacking the ‘Wow’ factor from its previous instalments.
Jeremy Renner had the hard task to fill Matt Damon‘s shoes and despite his capabilities as a lead action hero, he fails to deliver a stunning result because his character is quite flat and predictable – just another field agent from a secret program who the CIA wants him dead (original much?) Moreover, audience finds little emotional connection with him as his on-screen romance with co-star Rachel Weisz looks very fake and unnatural.
Nevertheless, Renner is definitely up to his role in terms of physically demanding scenes, whether it be hand-to-hand combat, using weapons or riding a bike in Philippines. Also, Edward Norton joins the franchise as a new antagonist but his character begins to fade after a while as an evil CIA archetype (he still shines though as the villain more than Cross)
We think the main issue of The Bourne Legacy is its name because it’s impossible to not compare it with its predecessors (and Matt Damon). Tony Gilroy brings nothing new to the franchise, making it look more like a remake than a fresh new saga (not even cameos and references to the old Bourne movies help) as the name of Jason Bourne kept on being mentioned throughout the film which works against the new hero. And honestly? Viewers want to see Jason Bourne back on screen more than what is going on with Aaron Cross.
We strongly recommend you to see or revisit the past Bourne movies before watching The Bourne Legacy, otherwise you will get terribly confused.
The Bourne Legacy – In cinemas August 16. In Brisbane cinemas Wednesday August 15