As you are more than likely aware the new Bourne movie does not feature Jason Bourne (except for a picture or two), it is like the Halloween franchise not having Michael Myers in a film, I mean imagine how silly that would be! Moving on, The Bourne Legacy is set simultaneously to The Bourne Ultimatum with that Guardian reporter being shot by a Tory Telegraph reader. Meanwhile, Aaron Cross (Jeremy Renner) is trekking through Alaska and he happens to bump into Oscar Isaac, but suddenly the pair are attacked by drones.
Cross survives and escapes, in Liam Neeson The Grey style, from the clutches of the CIA (I think) who are targeting him. We soon discover that Cross is an experimental super human and requires a certain drug to stay alive, and with the help of Dr. Marta Shearing (Rachel Weisz), Aaron goes across the world to seek the drugs he needs, while being tracked by Eric Bayer (Edward Norton) and his team.
All over the place is perhaps the best way to describe The Bourne Legacy as the latest instalment lacks the clarity (the other three films were better told) and the intensity that the other three films contained. Gilroy is by no means a bad writer (he wrote the three previous Bourne movies and directed Michael Clayton), but here the viewer gets the impression that The Bourne Legacy was never going to work. The film feels like it is just there, it’s not badly made, but it still feels as though it is there for nothing more than financial reasons as the film’s contributions to the franchise is not worth it being made. I mean did people really demand the film they got? Unlikely. Could they have got another actor or play Bourne? It worked for the Bond franchise (six different actors have officially played Bond) or did Bourne die at the end of the third film? I can’t remember.
Jeremy Renner is suitably rugged in the central role and churns out a decent, passable performance but hardly a special one. Renner had his limitations, as he was playing a character not quite as interesting or engaging as Matt Damon’s Jason Bourne. Supporting him is Rachel Weisz, who has very little to do apart from screaming, crying hysterically and hanging onto a motorcycle while screaming loudly. Weisz's role is badly written as she is the typical stand back and be of very little use while Aaron Cross does most of the work kind of girl. Once she said some science mumbo Jumbo, but apart from that Weisz has very little interesting to say or do. Furthermore, both Weisz and Renner share little chemistry, thus the obviously repressed romance is dull. Edward Norton also delivers an uninteresting, and thoroughly one-note performance, in an equally poorly written role. The film is just wasting the talents of those involved.
However, with that all considered the film gets though its 134 minute running time briskly enough, without being terribly boring, but not greatly exciting either. There are a number of well staged, but ultimately tensionless action sequences peppered throughout the film, none of them really building up to an interesting plot. The film’s third act is dominated by a well-staged, but again tensionless, motorbike chase. The chase is just spectacle and nothing more as it feels rather empty and lacking in true excitement. Tony Gilroy’s Bourne film is not quite as shaky cam infested as the Greengrass films, but Gilroy’s film lacks the crucial elements which made the Greengrass films more exiting.
The Bourne Legacy is not good enough to justify its existence, it is not a terribly made film but it is one that does seem to be very little more than a cash cow. A number of well-staged action scenes count for very little if there is no tension.