Rajeev Masand – movies that matter : from bollywood, hollywood and everywhere else

August 10, 2012

Bourne again

Filed under: Their Films — Rajeev @ 8:37 pm

August 10, 2012

Cast: Jeremy Renner, Rachel Weisz, Edward Norton, Albert Finney

Director: Tony Gilroy

The fundamental problem with The Bourne Legacy is that it contains too much talking and very little action. It’s a far cry from the earlier Bourne films, particularly Supremacy and Ultimatum, both directed by Paul Greengrass whose frenetic shaky-camera shooting style and breathless direction turned those films into smart, realistic action-thrillers.

Tony Gilroy, who’s co-written and directed The Bourne Legacy (and who co-wrote each of the three earlier Bourne films), is clearly more interested in the cerebral over the visceral. Much of the new film involves characters solemnly watching footage on television screens and discussing what can only be very important matters in deathly serious tones. But the truth is, although lots of information is thrown at you, very little is interesting or even crucial to the plot.

Jeremy Renner takes over as leading man from Matt Damon (the actor left the franchise in 2010 when Greengrass famously decided he didn’t want to do another Bourne film; Damon said he wouldn’t do one without Greengrass), although The Hurt Locker star doesn’t play Jason Bourne. He’s Aaron Cross, another highly skilled superspy on the run from the CIA, who wants him dead in order to cover up all evidence of their own dirty dark secrets. As he dodges government drones and assassins hired by ruthless Col Eric Byer (Edward Norton), Cross enlists the help of Dr Marta Shearing (Rachel Weisz) to obtain the drugs he needs to keep himself going.

Renner has the presence, but alas not the vulnerability that Damon brought to his role; it’s hard to care for Cross in the manner that you rooted for Bourne, and that could be blamed on his thinly sketched character.

Gilroy cleverly connects this story to the existing Bourne universe, although we never see Jason Bourne in Legacy, However the film suffers considerably on account of its lethargic pace, and the only time you feel like you’re watching a true-blue Bourne film is during that thrilling climatic chase scene through the streets of Manila.

I’m going with two out of five for The Bourne Legacy. After three terrific Bourne films, this is one sequel we didn’t need.

(This review first aired on CNN-IBN)


  1. Oh! i thought it will be good.

    Comment by Ankit — August 10, 2012 @ 10:47 pm

  2. A really BORRREEE.. movie…

    Comment by parul — August 11, 2012 @ 1:50 am

  3. Though the plot is cleverly connected to the Ultimatum, it weighed the Legacy down. It carries the burden of Ultimatum and mainly of Bourne as even not being in it Bourne outcasts Cross. It would be good to see if story had started with the prosecution of Noah Vosen and then Shutting down of OUTCOME before its coming to limelight. Cross would have had a better mileage then he could have a more of his back story and few flaws of his own to make us feel for him. Director seems to have taken his audience for granted. nonetheless few scenes are crafted very well, including the climax.. But again ending seemed sudden and abrupt.

    Comment by Ajit Jagtap — August 12, 2012 @ 12:03 am

  4. Here is my review of The Bourne Legacy. After watching three terrific nail-biting Bourne thrillers the Legacy falls flats because of its slow pace and it really misses the most important person Matt Damon “The real Jason Bourne” http://sportguy31.blogspot.ca/2012/08/movie-review-bourne-legacy_12.html

    Comment by Amin Ajani — August 13, 2012 @ 9:54 am

  5. Here is my review of The Bourne Legacy -> http://aajani.blogspot.ca/2012/08/movie-review-bourne-legacy_12.html

    Comment by Amin Ajani — August 14, 2012 @ 9:53 pm

  6. True. The movie ultimately came down to Aaron Cross’s drug addiction. One might not miss Matt Damon but Bourne is certainly missed. Renner is very good in the action sequences but like you pointed, he is a limited scope as a character. Hoping to see Bourne back in the next installment.

    Comment by Swaroop Kodur — August 15, 2012 @ 2:07 am

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