Cert: 12A Runtime: 135 mins Director: Tom Gilroy Starring: Jeremy Renner, Rachel Weisz, Edward Norton and Stacy Keach
Jason Bourne was just the tip of the iceberg
I am a fan of the Bourne franchise, I was expecting this movie with mixed feelings. I was afraid this movie would only be a rehash of the solid trilogy and give us more of the same but on a lower level than usual. On the other side, I was looking forward to see a new chapter around the conspiracy legacy as I felt that there were still some things left to say and see after the last film.Set at the same time as ‘The Bourne Ultimatum’, ‘The Bourne Legacy’ follows the fallout of Jason Bourne’s actions against the shadowy Blackbriar organisation.While his actions may have exposed Blackbriar’s illegal operations, Bourne’s mission has resulted in a life or death struggle for another agent – Aaron Cross (Jeremy Renner).Following the killing of Guardian journalist Simon Ross (Paddy Considine) and Congress’s investigation into the Blackbriar program, CIA agent Byer (Edward Norton) decides to shut down all of his covert operations and wipe out any evidence. This includes all agents similar to Bourne, such as Aaron Cross and their handlers. Escaping with scientist Marta Shearing (Rachel Weisz), Cross must fight to stay alive, discover the truth about his mission and stay one step ahead of Byer and his men.
In the end, I got a mix of both positive and negative expectations. Let’s start with the bad points. The story in here really is nothing new and quite predictable from the beginning to the end. There are no twists and there isn’t as much sweating action and tension as in the first three movies. I would have liked to see some more innovation in this movie with a more profound script. Even though the character of Jason Bourne is mentioned throughout the flick, I would have liked to see a closer connection to this unfinished story line but maybe that’s something that may happen in the future as this new film clearly is a start of a new series if there are no unexpected pitfalls. I might also add that the movie had nevertheless a couple of lengths to get kicked off in its first two thirds. Some people say that the new movie ended when it really started to get intense and that the finish happened to be rather abrupt. This is true as I would have liked to see some sort of a more developed epilogue to this film.Now, let’s point out the positive elements. First of all, the acting of the two main actors is surprisingly good and you really believe these characters. They are maybe not as charismatic as a Franka Potente and a Matt Damon. Apart of that, the settings for the new movie are as stunning or even better as in the first three flicks.
The chosen locations are the winter world of Alaska, several cities in the United States of America and Manila in the Philippines. I kinda liked the survival elements of the first third of the movie, but it reminded me too much of The Grey. The character development that occurred in the second part of the flick and the okish chasing scenes through the streets and on the rooftops of the city of Manila. Even though the chase was a little bit overlong with around twenty minutes of literally called running time and even though the chase lacked of a true final highlight, I was really impressed by these diverting moments that kept me on the edge of my seat until the end.To keep it short, this movie will divide the fans into two camps. Some might find this beginning of a new era useless and not unique enough to survive. Others will be pleasantly surprised to see a movie that features all the trademarks people liked so much about the franchise. This flick won’t win any prizes for innovation but it’s slightly entertaining and makes you want to see what will happen next.I’m looking forward for a possible sequel. On this level, the Bourne flicks might maybe one day get the same degree of appreciation as the James Bond franchise if Hollywood carries on to write more intriguing screenplays around this phenomenon.