The Bourne Legacy Reviews

Our Review

Bourne again, but not the best

Yury Glikin, MovieFix
The adage "you can never have too much of a good thing" is never more true with Hollywood, as the most recent instalment in the Bourne saga, The Bourne Legacy, hits our screens.

Set in parallel with the last film, The Bourne Ultimatum, this is not so much a continuation but a separate entity, with some commonality across characters and plotlines.

The focus this time is on agent Aaron Cross (Jeremy Renner), one of the elite members of the Treadstone/Blackbriar special-ops program, who goes on the run after the order is given to eliminate all the agents within the program, to ensure an effective cover-up.

Along the way, Cross teams up with Dr Marta Shearing (Rachel Weisz), one of the medical scientists whose job it was to develop the drugs required to keep all agents at an almost superhuman level of physical and mental agility, and the hunted pair must work together to survive.

Coming five years after the last Bourneouting, and with a different leading man and director, questions were being asked as to how successfully Legacy would be able to continue the excellent standard for the spy thrillers set by former director Paul Greengrass and action man Matt Damon with the first three films.

Director Tony Gilroy, who was also one of the writers for the previous three Bournes, does a sound job here. The story moves at a fast clip, the locations are stylishly shot and the action sequences are well executed, especially the superb motorbike chase through the streets of Manila.

Edward Norton channels focused intensity as Eric Bayer, the retired colonel who knows that one loose end would mean catastrophe for the CIA, and Rachel Weisz is well cast as Dr Shearing, playing a "damsel in distress" role exactly as expected.

The slight let-down though is Jeremy Renner. He has undoubtedly established himself as a bona fide action star, with a superb turn in The Hurt Locker, as well as Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol and, most recently, The Avengers.

However, whereas Matt Damon was able to combine raw violence and vulnerability as Bourne, making us believe in him and cheer for him; Renner's Aaron Cross seems much more aloof and the viewer never really gets the feeling for what really drives him.

Cross is brutally effective at what he does, but the almost mechanical way he goes about executing each scene (and, occasionally, people) does eventually get a little repetitive.

No real insight, apart from some scattered and fleeting flashbacks, is provided into who he is, making it hard for the audience to connect with the character.

Perhaps the producers are saving that for future instalments, if the gapingly wide-open ending is anything to go by.

This is however, a minor criticism and overall, The Bourne Legacy is a solid, if slightly underwhelming, return for the franchise.

MovieFIX interview: Jeremy Renner on why he didn't need to get in shape for Bourne

Watch the trailer

Your Reviews

Tez of Dockerland
Tez of Dockerland
Good action, pretty good acting ( though female lead is a bit whiney to start with but gets better ). I thought the story was a bit lame and the director could have done better but otherwise it was worth watching.
Vaughan
Vaughan
Big fan of all the bourne films, this one is still pretty darn good i reckon.
Chrissie
Chrissie
Only ever went to watch the Bourne films because of Matt Damon and loved them. Wont even both with this. Why use the name Bourne, if he is not relevant.
Nikki
Nikki
Disappointed is the one word I can use for this. Actors are all great, but story does'nt make you feel anything for the characters so you become bored by the whole thing. Don't think even Matt Damon could have saved this one.
Sceptic
Sceptic
Even if you have read the books it is a disjointed confusing mes. Walked out wondering what I had seen
Hap
Hap
A bit of a let down, passable but expected so much more based on the first 3 starring Matt Damon..
Steve
Steve
I think people have to take a step back before seeing this movie.. This is not Jason Bourne, This is a total new beginning for a great franchise, This First movie is getting us the , The Jason Bourne lovers to cleanse our minds of Matt Damon, and gauge our response to Jeremy Renner, now il be honest here , I think Renner did an amazing job NOT being Matt Damon’s Jason Bourne, Everything to his thinking to his fighting style and moods were all Renner’s Aaron Cross, I’m glad were not looking at a photocopy of Jason Bourne but someone who is an individual, This instalment won’t be critically acclaimed but looked at properly we can see that is the start of another great franchise , In the next movie they need to get away from the Bourne name in the title and let Renner bring us on an adventure without Bourne hanging around his neck, I Loved this movie, can’t wait for the next instalment, Oh and I’ve got to say , Edward Norton in awesome in this, he gets better and better....
roy
roy
thoroughly enjoyed .second half of this movie was action plus non stop pace Jeremy Renner will settle in to this role and make it his own. Cant wait for next sequal
movie-goer
movie-goer
Went to see it last night, it is such a hugh letdown. The mountain screne are to long, with no flighting with the assassin are the worst. I still prefer the first 3 installments
Bushy
Bushy
Disappointed. This movie does not flow and is very disjointed as mentioned by nova-m. I just could not get the mission /ideas of the movie. The first Bourne movie was good and worth whilst this one was 2.5hours of xxx.
I dont care what anyone reckons.... i thought the movie was awesome, cant wait for the next one!!!!
Why would I read a book before watching a movie. The entire reason I watch a movie is so I dont have to read the book.
Jason
Jason
@ nova-m For those of us who have read the books... the movies have very little in common. Bourne Legacy the book is about Jason Bourne to start with, with not a single recognisable character present in the movie, but seeing as they cut almost all of the back story of who Jason Bourne actually is and what his real role in treadstone was, out of the first 3 movies for simplicity there was very little option for them. It was a good action movie, the concepts were exciting and well executed, but it had very little in way of a solid story, and as Yury Glikin said above, almost no care factor.
pola
pola
I loved it and i've never read the books. I've seen all 4 Bourne movies now and even with out Matt Damon as the main character I still found the plot line relevant. Jeremy Renner does an excellent job potraying Aaron Cross. Unlike the review above, I took more from his actions and felt that he gave great insight into his character, just based on his situation, though the flashbacks were helpfull. It was a great action flick, loved the motor bike chase :)
Deep
Deep
We want Jason Bourne Back!!
Boost
Boost
The pieces are all there for you slot the films together. Aaron Cross is a very different character who is still in the grip of his training and "chems". He's not trying to work out who he is or what he's done, he knows all too well. He is driven, and manic and you begin to see the different side-effects of the various military programs. The cast and action are great and I'm already looking forwards to the next one.
M Allison
M Allison
I thought Jeremy Renner was great and I haven't read the books but seen all three of the other movies so followed the story with no problems. We knew there was a new actor so I wasn't expecting a Matt Damon look alike.
tony
tony
Mat damon is Jason Bourne....
Ludlum Fan
Ludlum Fan
If you have read the books you will be more confused then ever.... Supremecy had Jason & Marie Married with small kids... Ultimatum was the showdown with Carlos the Jackal not even mentioned in movie as he is no longer relevant... enjoy them for what they are, Great action movies
dave
dave
why watch a movie when the main actor is not playing the part .Thanks for screwing a great movie up . we want Jason back .
nova-m
nova-m
For those of us who havent read the Bourne books, this movie is very disjointed, with multiple characters who's roles are never clearly defined. There is lots of action and Jeremy Renner does a great job, but for someone who hasnt read the books, it is a confusing mess. I would only recommend those who have read the books to see it.

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