THE BOURNE LEGACY (18)
Release Date: 09 August 2012
Running Time: 135 minutes
Distributor: Universal Pictures
Director: Tony Gilroy
Screenplay: Tony Gilroy, Dan Gilroy, inspired by Robert Ludlum's Bourne series
Starring: Jeremy Renner, Rachel Weisz, Edward Norton, Joan Allen, Albert Finney, Stacy Keach
Plot: The narrative architect behind the Bourne film series, Tony Gilroy, takes the helm in the next chapter of the hugely popular espionage franchise that has earned almost $1 billion at the global box office: The Bourne Legacy. The writer/director expands the Bourne universe created by Robert Ludlum with an original story that introduces us to a new hero (Jeremy Renner) whose life-or-death stakes have been triggered by the events of the first three films. For The Bourne Legacy, Renner joins fellow series newcomers Rachel Weisz, Edward Norton, Stacy Keach and Oscar Isaac, while franchise veterans Albert Finney, Joan Allen, David Strathairn and Scott Glenn reprise their roles. REVIEWS AFTER THE JUMP
Review: "There was never just one" - is a lame excuse given by the Hollywood executives to continue this franchise when the third installment ended the series with a bang. No doubt, Ultimatum and its predecessors have been rated as one of the best spy-action thriller ever. Then, five years later, we were told that Jason Bourne was not the only one. Unfortunately for Jeremy 'Hawkeye' Renner as he is also one of those who was put in the bigger pot of hot soup for every other reason. But is this fourth trip a worth one?
Along with the events occurred in The Bourne Ultimatum where Jason Bourne tried to take down Blackbriar operations, the head pins on the CIA training programs feared that the Operation Outcome would be compromised too. Taking the easy way out, they eliminated all the 'participants' but failed to take down one of the asset named Aaron Cross (Jeremy Renner). Desperation for every surviving possible, Cross sought helps from Dr. Marta Shearing (Rachel Weisz), an Outcome scientist who worked in biochemical department. Hunted and wanted by the CIA under the direct order of Eric Byer (Edward Norton) who stepped in to contain the situation.
The Bourne Legacy marks the first Bourne film without Matt Damon as director Paul Greengrass stepped down following the last two installments, but that doesn't mean we are heading for a movie that does not have the elements we have seen in the past. While the first 30 minutes of the opening act seems to have worried me much into coming to thoughts that they are trying so hard shake and to get it loose, this is not true as the movie progress further and we get rewarded with many familiar themes and elements.
Unfortunately, the first-time director, Gilroy traded Greengrass' kinetic-hand-shaking-fast-pacing actions for much calmer, tamer hand-on-hand, tactical actions that remain indoor (with the exception of that final set piece, of course). For much of it, the risk staked in Legacy was lowered by a couple of notches with simpler thoughts in mind playing. Instead of watching a pure action fueled by crisis, science fiction does most of the talking. While it lacks the certain energy Greengrass has forged for, Legacy is still an exciting movie to watch. For a standard comparable with many first-timer, Gilroy still does some commending job in containing the plot from becoming too explosive, too wild and uncontrollable. While opting for safe mode, Legacy is nevertheless still a satisfying feature in the series, not a stalled movie or a failure at all.
Along the way comes the whole convoluted, multi-structured plot story that packs so intensely inside the 135 minutes of the movie can be difficult to follow for those unfamiliar with the franchise. Neither it feels overlong nor it feels undeserved, the timing and It is a giant canvas too big for some but proves rewarding if you are aware of the franchise's past. Legacy has absolutely everything and nothing to do with the previous three. Jason Bourne was featured prominently but as suspected gets little to do with the story here. Let alone continuing the saga while putting a sideline story into the bigger lair, the film makes a quick romp around, throwing more things than you will be able to swallow and left a large proportion of it unexplained and unexplored. That smells like more sequels coming but it is the same feeling you get when you watched The Bourne Identity (2002)!
Jeremy Renner and Rachel Weisz are gifted actor/actress in today's Hollywood scene but I have a feeling that the characters they played are too much grounded. Renner's performance as Aaron Cross is not so compelled by emotion and complexity; thus leaving plenty of emotional gap and empathy. He faces little dilemma, no amnesia or mentioned personal troubles; he makes only a good sidekick for Bourne (which is a compliment). Rachel Weisz has seen some bad day in her acting career and this is not so near from that though. The most astonishing fact is that Edward Norton's so called villain role is pretty much phoned-in inside a squared-room merely. While grounded, there are part of the reason why Legacy still works - character development may be undeveloped but their presence moves the story forward nevertheless and have a high potential and rooms if sequel does kick in.
In the end, The Bourne Legacy is a watchable though occasionally exciting action thriller that murks with cliches; simple-thought yet disguised with blown out convoluted plot; and marks a heavy departure from the trilogy's kinetic actions and emphatic characters for a safe mode installment on the series. The Bourne Legacy is practically The Bourne Identity on some degrees.
"The Bourne Legacy" opens in cinemas nationwide in 2D and 35 mm versions beginning August 9th. Thanks to ChurpChurp and Golden Screen Cinemas for the preview screening