The Bourne Legacy
There are really only a handful of trilogies that Hollywood can be publicly proud of. Toy Story and Nolan’s Batman franchise are the notable examples that come to mind. However, one that commonly seems to be forgotten is the fantastically Bond-like Jason Bourne series.
All three Bourne films (Identity, Supremacy and Ultimatum) played as refreshingly realist chapters in a saga that portrayed a former assassin who wakes up with amnesia, and subsequently finds himself prime target for the CIA. Matt Damon was our hero and with three academy awards and two “best film” awards from Empire, Hollywood must still feel as though we cronies are due reboot.
After initially getting on board for the fourth Bourne film, Damon suddenly backed out after his condition for Paul Greengrass to direct was ignored. So it was for Tony Gilroy, writer of all three, to take up directing and screenplay duties at the helm of The Bourne Legacy…
With Damon out, Jeremy Renner caught Gilroy’s eye. Already proving in The Hurt Locker that he positively outshines in a main role, Renner seemed an obvious replacement. In The Bourne Legacy, Renner plays Aaron Cross who, like Bourne, is a secret agent undertaking a government program named Outcome that tests performance enhancing pharmaceuticals on chosen subjects. The plot takes up where Ultimatum left off and since Bourne has gone into hiding, head of Outcome Eric Byer (Ed Norton) orders all subjects to be terminated. Cross gets away, and with the knowledge of scientist Dr Marta Shearing (Rachel Weisz), attempts to expose the corrupt government agency.
The film is in very good hands with Gilroy; a man who knows the series inside out. The decision to run a parallel plot to Jason Bourne had its risk of alienating the film to being seen as “just another spy thriller” with Damon out of the picture, but The Bourne Legacy has made it work very well. Bourne’s ghost remains through familiar faces like Pamela Landy (Joan Allen) who makes a welcome return. However, with a thought-provoking plot and a few twists and turns along the way, The Bourne Legacy plays for an entertaining two and a half hours.
Looking over niggles such as the incredibly tedious and unnecessarily drawn-out motorcycle chase sequence, plus the realisation that watching the trailer before seeing the film practically reveals the conclusion to almost every stunt and set piece, The Bourne Legacy is a well-acted, well-written spy thriller. Of course, it isn’t perfect but as a “popcorn” movie, it’s perfect.
The Bourne Legacy is released nationwide on 13th August 2012.
Watch the trailer for The Bourne Legacy here: