ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

The Bourne Legacy takes a good while to get going and doesn't quite stack up against the first three

Updated on April 16, 2014

After seeing some of Jeremy Renner's recent films, like Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol and The Avengers, I had tentative hope for his turn in the Bourne drivers seat.

And it just didn't quite do it for me.

It's not a terrible movie. There are three main faults I would point out, but I'll get to that in a little while.

Taking a cue from what was done with The Bourne Ultimatum, this latest movie overlaps with some of the same time frame as the previous movie (and by extension, the second). In fact, most of the major players in Ultimatum make some kind of appearance in The Bourne Legacy, to greatly varying degrees—some only a few seconds, or even just a mug shot on a screen.

First, the story:

As the movie begins, several movers and shakers are in a bit of a panic with the threat of the Treadstone story getting out through a reporter (see Ultimatum for that story line). Enter Eric Byer (Edward Norton) who is heading up a team to evaluate the level of contamination the Treadstone project has caused in other currently running project, and make decisions as to how much cleanup this will all require.

Elsewhere, Aaron Cross (Jeremy Renner), like the formerly titular Jason Bourne, is an agent of the nominally defunct Treadstone project. He's seen hiking through snowy mountains to an outpost of some kind.

At the same time, Doctor Marta Shearing (Rachel Weisz) seems to have some kind of connection to the research and development that made Treadstone possible.

So, if the decision is made to fully sever the entire project, I'll leave it up to you to figure out what that means for the lovely doctor and the scruffy assassin.

Check out these other Bourne projects

Dot dot dot

The first thing to point out is that, while Jeremy Renner worked well in both Ghost Protocol and The Avengers as one of an ensemble, he isn't quite charismatic enough to carry this type of lead the way that Matt Damon did. He's got the physical presence during the action scenes, but isn't quite as endearing as you might want for this role. But that leads me to my second point.

Not nearly enough action.

Now, obviously, the Bourne movies have all had their fair share of down time. But one thing that really helped them out was the fact that they all started very strongly. A strong opening can give enough momentum to push the audience through that don time. An action sequence, or a nearly dead man being pulled from the water with amnesia. Legacy simply takes too long to really get moving.

And once it finally does, that's my third issue:

The action here isn't quite as satisfying.

It's competent and well shot. But it doesn't quite feel like it's on the same level as the original trilogy. Those action sequences showed a bit more creativity and innovation. Not just the action itself, but you get to see Jason Bourne's mind working through the action. Attacking a man with a magazine. Stabbing a man's hand with a pen. These may sound a bit lame, on paper, but to see the main character improvise weapons with whatever is at hand is quite engaging with the audience. The only time we see Aaron Cross do that kind of improvising is in one of the first real action sequences where he uses a fire extinguisher and a nail.

That being said, this movie does deepen the mythology of the Bourne-iverse. For instance, while not exactly necessary, Legacy has a conversation that talks about the kinds of medication that these Treadstone agents had been given. It's interesting, but not exactly action movie material.

And when it does get going, there are a few action moments that generally work.

Oh, and it ends on a new version of "Extreme Ways" by Moby, so it's got that going for it.

But what do you think?

3 out of 5 stars from 1 rating of The Bourne Legacy

Personally, while it doesn't live up to the trilogy, I give this one solid 7 / 10. If you're not dying to see it, you can skip it without feeling that bad, since it doesn't use Jason Bourne at all. Maybe wait for the dollar theaters if you only have a passing interest. Either way, it shouldn't be completely unsatisfying.

The Bourne Legacy is rated PG-13 for language an fairly bloodless action violence.


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • Garlonuss profile imageAUTHOR

      Ryan D Peterson 

      6 years ago from Saratoga Springs, Utah

      Now don't get me wrong. I enjoyed the movie in general. But just like netslums says, the problem is mostly in expectations. All I'm trying to do is change people's expectations so that they know not to expect something just like the first three. Renner is not Damon and isn't trying to be. And if expectations are too high, it can make this kind of movie a bit of a disappointment.

      I don't want to sound like I hated the movie because that's very much not the case. I'm just trying to change people's expectations.

    • netslums profile image

      Blake J Rudy 

      6 years ago from Dallas, Texas

      @Omnivium - People's expectations are too high. I saw Total Recall last week, and it was a fun, action-packed movie. It didn't have the intellectual story of a movie like Inception, but it was good enough for my money. I'm not doubting that this new Bourne movie is worth than the first 3, but I do think that people are being too critical on movies today.

    • Omnivium profile image


      6 years ago

      That's too bad that the movie wasn't that good. I heard the new Total Recall was bad too. Are peoples' expectations too high, or are movies actually getting worse?


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)