***Movie #4 of BOURNE Week***
The Bourne Legacy (2012)
The Bourne Legacy (2012)
Starring Jeremy Renner, Rachel Weisz, Edward Norton, Stacy Keach, Oscar Isaac, Albert Finney, David Strathairn, Scott Glenn, Donna Murphy, Corey Stoll, Zeljko Ivanek, and Joan Allen
Directed by Tony Gilroy
The Bourne Legacy opens with many of its scenes running concurrently to the final moments in The Bourne Ultimatum. Director Tony Gilroy (the co-screenwriter of the previous Bourne films as well as this one) picks up the reins from Paul Greengrass and nicely ties Aaron Cross's story into Jason Bourne's timeline with this concurrent opening. Smartly, Gilroy plants Aaron Cross (played by Jeremy Renner) into a different CIA black ops program -- one that forces its recruits to take pills in order to maintain their stamina, strength, and intelligence. This allows for a different background and starting point for Cross than Bourne and it plays well throughout the film, feeling like a somewhat different animal...which is a good thing.
The repercussions of the actions of Bourne and Landy, however, permeate throughout The Bourne Legacy, as Cross finds himself being hunted down by CIA agents as they try to cover their tracks about the government's black ops agencies. This leads Cross to Dr. Marta Shearing (Rachel Weisz), a biochemist who has medically tested him in the past and who Cross uses to help him evade those coming after him.
The Bourne Legacy works really well as a continuation of the overarching political conspiracy story that runs rampant throughout this cinematic series. Where it falters, however, is in a few of the film's action moments, including a very ill-conceived final action sequence with some laughable reaction shots from Weisz that ends things on a decidedly disappointing note. Renner is more chipper than the dour Bourne (at least as chipper as one can be when being hunted down by the CIA) and his interactions with Weisz, while more generic than Bourne's interactions with his female contacts, are pleasantly conceived. However, Renner is actually a little too high on charisma -- a fault that I almost can't believe I'm writing. He didn't quite sell me on the "operative on the run" aspect of his character. Still, it was pleasant to put a different face front and center in the series even though it didn't quite match the success of its immediate predecessor.
The RyMickey Rating: B-