Jeremy Renner has had a big year so far with Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol and Marvel’s: The Avengers. He’s proved that he can play in the big boy sandbox as a team player and can go toe-to-toe with Tom Cruise and Robert Downey, Jr. Does Renner have the ability to lead a big budget action movie on his own and is he able to carry the weight of a very successful movie franchise on his shoulders and usher in a new continuation of the story?
All these questions and more will be answered in the next episode of Soap. (There are a few of you out there laughing right now that get this reference).
Or just read my review below the image….
First and foremost this is not a jump-on point to the new start for this franchise. This is a full fledged continuation of the events from The Bourne Ultimatum and in fact The Bourne Legacy takes place parallel to that movie. If you haven’t seen any of the first three movies you will be completely and utterly confused with everything that takes place in the newest chapter. This is a world of complex Government experiments and intrigue and lots of conversations that will leave your head spinning. If you wanted action mixed in with the intrigue you’ll have to wait close to an hour for it to arrive as TBL is all talk and less action. What action there is comes in spurts with such grainy cinematography that the action is lost due to the cinematography. The last act is such a joke with a been-there-done-that attitude that I have to wonder if the writers were just bored and trying to find a way to stop the train wreck that was happening on screen.
The plot is simple – Bourne f’ed it up for everyone. Because of this a Government cleanup group lead by Eric Byer (Ed Norton) is brought in to “close” the remaining projects down. Byer’s group stages actions to take down other groups, such as the Outcome group which uses tailor-made medication on their subjects to enhance strength and abilities. The first member of Outcome we meet is Outcome-5, or as we come to know him, Aaron Cross (Jeremy Renner). In a failed attempt to kill Cross in Alaska by Byer’s group, Cross makes his way back to the East Cost to find Dr. Marta Shearing (Rachael Weisz) in hope of getting more pills to replace the ones he lost and to find out why he is being targeted. Cross rescues Dr. Shearing in a failed attack on her by Byer’s group and both realize that they are being wiped out. In order to get more pills and save Cross, Dr. Shearing takes him to the factory in Manila where the pills are manufactured in hopes of weaning him off the pills and mutating his blood to manufacture the needed minerals on his own. Byer, realizing that Cross is alive, sends an agent from the Larx group, Larx-3 (Louis Ozawa Changchien) to kill both Cross and Dr. Shearing.
The good thing about Legacy taking place parallel to Ultimatum is that the franchise is still open to seeing Matt Damon return as Jason Bourne. Renner does a stellar job as Aaron Cross with what he as to work with in the script. But the lack of action for most of the first hour of the film leaves you wanting more and soon. What action there is in Legacy is quick but the grainy cinematography helps to dilute what is actually happening in front of you. I like Ed Norton and he delivers every time he’s on screen. Can Renner carry the franchise – yes. Will it continue without Damon? Yes…BUT there needs to be some tweaking to the script to really give us the “Bourne” action that was missing for the first half of the movie.
The Bourne Legacy is rated PG-13 due to violence (when it’s on display) and action (see notes about violence) with a run time of 2-hours.
Rating – 2.5 stars out of 5