johnlink ranks THE BOURNE LEGACY (2012)

I was split on the idea of transferring the Bourne series to Jeremy Renner playing a brand new character. On one hand, I am glad they didn’t just recast Bourne and do a reboot. On the other, it seems like a new character deserves to not be linked to the Bourne title just as a way of selling extra tickets. Regardless, I wanted to see this, so I’m glad it finally made its way to HBO.


I watched THE BOURNE LEGACY (2012) on 7.23.13. It was my first viewing of the film.

I was pleasantly surprised at how much this film stands on its own. The plot happens parallel to the events of the third movie with the publicizing of the Treadstone project leading to the potential downfall of other, more nefarious, projects. In an effort to cover up these things, the agents involved are exterminated. One man, Aaron Cross (Renner) escapes this fate and manages to survive. With the help of the woman who genetically altered him (Rachel Weisz) he manages to fight back.

Only, really, he doesn’t fight back. The plot is more concerned with his medication that his revenge. This isn’t a problem: it gives the movie a unique focus. It does lead to a climactic battle with a bad guy who we never meet until a minute before the big chase ensues. It certainly doesn’t follow the formulaic action movie device of establishing a bad guy to be bested in a climax.

Unless, of course, you consider all of THE BOURNE LEGACY to be merely the first act in a trilogy. LEGACY stands on its own because the action, the camerawork, the story-telling all work. But it also works because we know another one must be coming, that this story can’t be ending here.

The action in this movie is really nice, though it is certainly enhanced by amazing camerawork. One scene, involving a fight at a remote house in the woods, follow Renner as he runs up the side of a building and jumps through a window shooting. It is a complex shot and one which (it would appear anyway) was done without special effects. The moment would be forgettable if it was edited traditionally, but the force of the camera movement elevates the moment greatly.

Jeremy Renner is a sufficient hero, Rachel Weisz is a nice addition as the fish-out-of-water female interest, Ed Norton does a nice Chris Cooper evil government type, and so on. But if this all sounds like it is almost identical to the first BOURNE movie, well that would be true. The locations may be different, amnesia may have been traded for medication, and the names may have changed. The beats, however, remain the same. I like the Damon version better, but I wouldn’t say that this Renner iteration is bad in any way. It just has a lot to live up to.

I don’t see a sequel on IMDB. I hope that doesn’t mean this gets cut down. I think they have a lot of room left to move, and a Bourne/Cross crossover. That would be very cool to see. The two of them would make quite the action team. If that is where all of this is headed, I am very on board.



Probably not a surprise, but I loved the camera work in this movie. You would think it would be merely derivative of the original trilogy. But this BOURNE has a few new tricks up its sleeve.



~ by johnlink00 on July 25, 2013.

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