Sunday, August 19, 2012

The Bourne Legacy

Starring Jeremy Renner, Edward Norton, Rachel Weisz

Based on the character Jason Bourne by Robert Ludlum

Directed by Tony Gillory

Release Date: July 30th, 2012

Jason Bourne was only the beginning....

How do you talk about a movie like The Bourne Legacy? There's no Jason Bourne in this movie, so it's not a sequel; but for a spin-off, it relies heavily on seeing the last three Bourne movies. It's a quandary, if I can be  honest. So, I'll break it down as best I can. Is it a bad film? No. Is it a great film? No. However, it's a good start for an Aaron Cross series.

So, if you've never seen a Jason Bourne movie, here's the gist : Jason Bourne (played by Matt Damon) was a spy who once lost his memories and slowly regained his personality after being trained by the government. (That's the broad strokes of the premise). Now, a similar program to the program that trained Bourne, has decided to eliminate Operation Outcome, its scientists, and the operatives which includes Aaron Cross, as played by Jeremy Renner. Outcome differs from Treadstone as these operatives are given treatments of pills that increase physical and mental abilities. Cross, as an Outcome operative, must routinely take his green and blue pills or he will suffer fatal problems. As Outcome is now being systemically taken apart, Cross must find out how to cure himself of his medicinal need and outrace his handlers now trying to eliminate him.

This movie....requires an immediate prior viewing of the previous Bourne films. At times, I couldn't remember why certain events were important and felt this distracted from the story the film was telling. It was as if two screenwriters were working on two different stories: one dealing with a Jason Bourne story, and the other trying to set up a new character in that universe. Don't get me wrong, Aaron Cross is a really interesting character. But for the first 30 minutes it felt like he wasn't the main character.  Also, the ending is abrupt and disappointing. Still, the film has a lot of impressive performances from the cast and some great stunt sequences. If they can make a sequel that ties up all loose ends about Bourne and sticks with Aaron Cross from now on, I'll be satisfied.

Rating: 3.5 out of 5 

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