For someone not familiar with the Bourne legacy, a great watch!
, 01 Sep 2012
Lets just discuss legacies for a second. This whole Bourne thing has a massive legacy. Matt Damon is Bourne, apparently, nobody else could fill those shoes. They might be right, but I dont know because Ive only seen two thirds of the first one, thats it. And frankly, I dont care. But why am I telling you all this crap? Im telling you because you need to know that I went to The Bourne Legacy with very little expectation; therefore, my review wont be littered with complaints about how Legacy doesnt live up to the last three movies. Sorry.
But before I get into it, lets do that age-old summary of the movie. If Im correct, Legacy and Ultimatum happen at more or less the same time. When the media find out about these super soldiers the Americans have been creating, the CIA decide to kill the remaining agents. One of those agents is Aaron Cross (Jeremy Renner), who wont give up without a fight. With doctor Marta Shearing (Rachel Weisz), Cross travels across the world to save his life. It turns into a cat-and-mouse game, Cross and Shearing getting chased by Eric Byer (Edward Norton) who wants to kill both of them so he can remove all evidence of the super-soldier project.
Is this film as good as the first three films? I have no clue. I will say this though; the first three would have to be cinematic masterpieces for this to be seen as inferior, because Legacy is a really enjoyable movie. Its constantly moving, stopping only briefly at points for a quick breather before jumping in again. Youre always at the edge of your seat. The action is frenetic but believable; everything is rooted in reality and I never felt like something was too ridiculous. We are taught to believe that Cross is essentially superhuman, so any seemingly extraordinary feats make sense.
And lets talk about Cross for a second. Played by Jeremy Renner, obviously, who is bloody fantastic. An excellent performance. Since Hurt Locker, hes not really done many good roles, frankly. Side parts in Mission Impossible and Avengers Assemble are a highlight, which isnt saying much. Here, though, he burdens the movie and does a very good job of it. The character is very different from what I remember of Jason Bourne; there is an underlying sarcasm and cynicism in everything he does, which is a refreshing quirk. Without a doubt, Cross (thanks to Renner) is more than credible as the Bourne substitute.
Oh yeah, the other guys. Rachel Weisz? Fantastic. Edward Norton? Fantastic. Both of them are awesome, anyway, Ive more or less loved them in everything theyve done, and theyre good here. Weisz transformation from hysterical to defiant is well-expressed and Norton is, well, Norton. That high-pitched nasal voice is still quite funny, but you cant fault the performance. There are others too, who come in and out of the film, but the three leads steal the show.
My only issue with the movie is that its bloody predictable. Just re-read my summary above again, and you can easily work out how the movie will end. I wont give you a blatant spoiler, but it doesnt take a rocket scientist to work out if Cross and Marta survive in the end. I just wish there was some sort of twist in the film, but it never comes. The film plays out exactly as you would expect it to, and thats a downer. Nothing is truly unpredictable nowadays though, I guess. The beauty is in the execution. And the execution here is great.
The best way to judge a movie like this is to ask yourself whether youd want to see the inevitable next one. And I do. Jason Bourne has his legacy, and Aaron Cross could be cementing one of his own now too.
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