The Bourne Legacy – 4 out of 5
The Bourne Identity pretty much cemented Matt Damon as a badass in my book. Till then I found him to be an excellent writer and decent actor but after seeing him in Bourne, I became a big fan of his. After exhausting the books the films were based on (but, more accurately due to exhausting Matt Damon’s desire to return as Jason Bourne), filmmakers went on to created their own character for the Bourne Universe; Aaron Cross. As the trailer and movie posters indicate; there wasn’t just one (one Bourne that is. Although, technically, Cross isn’t Bourne but whatevs).
|Matt Damon's badassness has been known to cause spontaneous fires.|
The story takes place around the same time the events in The Bourne Ultimatum are going on. As the actions of Treadstone and Black Briar are coming to light in the public, the shadowy agents of the CIA are working overtime in order to erase all details of their other super soldier program; Outcome. Outcome involved using medications to make a soldier be…well, all that they can be…and more. Retired Col. Eric Byer from the United States Air Force (Edward Norton) is trying to remove all traces of the Outcome program and, like all government programs that need to become nonexistent, it involves murder (just wait until unemployment insurance is ended—a lot of people are going to be killed). However, they fail to kill one of the doctors; Dr. Marta Shearing (Rachel Weisz), and one of their agents; Aaron Cross (Jeremy Renner).
|Wait...no red pill?|
My favorite thing about the Bourne series is that each movie didn’t fail in being awesome. Each had a great story going for it and each had killer action sequences. After seeing the trailer for The Bourne Legacy—oh, you wanna see it? Here ya go…
After seeing it I thought it looked pretty cool and it had Hawkeye being a Bourne-like agent. After watching it, I have to say the film is a pretty solid addition to the franchise. The character of Cross is just as tough and interesting as Bourne and the new program Outcome creates a new twist to the story. With the soldiers in Outcome taking meds to be better, bigger and stronger rather than being conditioned the way Bourne was engineered made for a sequel that didn’t feel like they were re-telling the first story. Not to mention getting rid of the “I can’t remember who I was” element and eliminating trying to uncover what Outcome really was made the film stand out but also fit right in with the rest of the Bourne films. That isn’t to say the film doesn’t contain some issues…
|Looks like it's about to get all The Grey up in this beeotch!|
One of the biggest problems I had with the movie was the unstable nature of Rachel Weisz’s performance. Weisz is a fantastic actress (have you seen her in The Constant Gardner? She was awesome!) but in this film she just comes off as psychotic. Granted her character undergoes a horrible experience after Outcome uses their powers to slaughter all those she works with but her performance comes off like every second of every moment is going to be the moment she cracks, pulls her pants down and starts shitting on the floor while singing a One Direction song. While Weisz has a great history of very solid performances, the job she did in this film is just annoying at worse and a distraction at best.
|Scream scream scream--confused stammering...horrified whisper.|
That's basically all her lines.
However, Weisz’s chaotic performance isn’t enough to hurt the film in a major way (just look at my score). Jeremy Renner proves he’s come a looooong way from National Lampoon’s Senior Trip and showcases that he has the skills to parallel Matt Damon’s infamous portrayal of Bourne but also is able forge his own path as Aaron Cross. Things are only amplified with a strong supporting cast that includes Edward Norton, Scott Glenn, Stacy Keach and my personal favorite character actor Zeljko Ivanek. Each actor really brings their A-game in a way that feels congruent to the rest of the franchise. Unfortunately, some of these actors don’t have as much screen time as I would have desired and it rob the film in a small way of the espionage-thriller ingredient that has come to be one of the defining aspect of the Bourne films but, once again look at my score, it didn’t rob the film in a major way.
|The look he gives before he curb stomps a person.|
The other defining aspect of the Bourne film is, of course, the action. The non-stop thrill ride of face-pounding, arm-breaking, car-flipping, running through packed crowds chase-sequencing awesomeness that turned Matt Damon from a pretty boy actor who wondered about how people felt about the apples to a legitimate action star that could kick-ass in a way that Chuck Norris can only do ironically (and Damon can actually act, too, so he can pretty much do all the things Norris can only do in internet meme form). This one doesn’t disappoint as it hits you with a lot of action—more action than story really but I’m not complaining. How can you after seeing the amazing motorcycle chase that took up a majority of the end of the film?
|He even puts on sunglasses before the chase just to ensure the coolness level|
is at its maximum.
Sure The Bourne Legacy isn’t on the same level as the previous three Bourne films but the level it sits on is only a fraction below it. The complaints about the film are so minor—even the fact the film seems to end abruptly with a clear intention for another Aaron Cross film (and it has been announced that there is an intention for more Bourne movies with a possible return of Matt Damon and, even cooler, a possible crossover with Bourne and Cross and that would kick ass on a galactic scale). At the end of it all, The Bourne Legacy was very entertaining with some great action, a solid story and some great performances—even thought Rachel Weisz’s character looked on the verge of shrieking like a harpy at every given second.