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A Movie Review on The Bourne Legacy (2012)
The Bourne Legacy is the fourth film in the Bourne Franchise, but without the character of Jason Bourne, played by Matt Damon in the previous three movies, many wondered if they would be able to pull off a quality Bourne film. The trailer looked promising, but many still remained skeptical. Although the movie has only amassed a 54% on Rotten Tomatoes, I feel that The Bourne Legacy is a great movie, and a quality entry into the Bourne series. A lot of the complaints about the film was that the amount of action in the movie is significantly less than the previous Bourne movies. While the movie is slower than the previous ones, there was never a dull moment. I never felt bored with the movie nor did I feel that any of the scenes dragged on too long. The main action scenes were saved for the final 20 minutes or so, but the previous hour and 45 minutes of the movie had plenty of smaller action scenes and tense moments to keep even the most die-hard action fan occupied.
Directed by Tony Gilroy, The Bourne Legacy follows Aaron Cross, played by Jeremy Renner (The Town), who is a member of the "Outcome" project who has enhanced physical and mental abilities. When the program/project is shut down the elimination of all "Outcome" agents is ordered which includes Aaron Cross. Now Cross, along with program scientist Dr. Marta Shearin played by Rachel Weisz (The Mummy), is on the run from the same company out to get Jason Bourne. The movie runs parallel to the events in the previous Bourne movies, which explains the Jason Bourne name drop every 15 minutes or so.
Renner does a great job as Aaron Cross, maybe not providing the same intensity that Matt Damon brought to the table as Jason Bourne, but he handles the role with ease. The character of Cross is easily likable, and much of that falls on the performance of Jeremy Renner. Rachel Weisz does an adequate job as Dr. Marta Shearing, just don't expect an Oscar performance. Her character, like Renner's, is easily likable, and you'll be rooting for her throughout. Edward Norton as Eric Byer delivers a very dull and boring performance. I'm not sure if the character was supposed to be this way or if it was just the way Norton decided to handle the role. Norton is normally a very good actor, and the writing for this movie was well done so I'm not sure what happened here.
Tony Gilroy, who previously wrote the screenplays for the last three Bourne films, does a great job directing the movie. For the technical aspects of the movie, such as effects, lighting, editing, etc, I have no complaints. Gilroy handled the fight sequences quite well and delivers a truly spectacular motorcycle sequence towards the end of film. Whosoever idea it was to include the usage of real wolves in the making of this movie, I applaud you.
The Bourne Legacy is a solid entry into the Bourne series, building upon what is already there, and then adding to it. Although there is less action in this one, the movie is never dull or boring, always keeping you interested. Once the action does start you won't be left disappointed. I can't wait to see more of Cross and maybe, just maybe, we'll get a teaming of Cross and Bourne in the next film.
Written and Directed by Tony Gilroy
Starring Jeremy Renner, Rachel Weisz, Edward Norton, Joan Allen, Albert Finney, Scott Glenn, and David Strathairn
Rated PG-13 Runtime: 135 Minutes