Second Opinion – The Bourne Legacy (2012)

The Bourne Legacy, 2012.

Directed by Tony Gilroy.
Starring Jeremy Renner, Rachel Weisz, Edward Norton, Joan Allen, Albert Finney, Scott Glenn, David Strathairn, Oscar Isaas, Louis Ozawa Changchien, Donna Murphy, Stacy Keach and Željko Ivanek.


Agent Aaron Cross finds himself on the run after the CIA attempt to liquidate a highly classified assassin program known as Operation Outcome.

The Bourne series has been one of the most lucrative and entertaining action series in the last ten years. Director Paul Greengrass’ ability to combine fast paced action with complex storytelling is nothing short of amazing. Matt Damon made a whole new name for himself starring as Jason Bourne and proved himself as an action hero. Now, with The Bourne Legacy, we have Tony Gilroy behind the camera and Jeremy Renner taking over in the lead role. Can this duo maintain the same quality of film making that Greengrass and Damon were able to put on screen?

Jeremy Renner stars as Aaron Cross, a member of Operation Outcome, one of the Department of Defense’s black ops programs, which provides its agents with pills that enhance physical and mental abilities. He goes on the run for his life when Jason Bourne’s actions from the previous movies causes USAF Colonel Eric Byer (Edward Norton) to eliminate all Outcome agents. After barely escaping death in Alaska, Cross heads to Chicago where he rescues Dr. Marta Shearing (Rachel Weisz) from CIA agents who were ordered to kill her after she survived a fatal attack by one of her fellow scientists. She later reveals that Cross was genetically modified to retain the benefits of one of the pills without need of continuous consumption, a process called “viralling off”. However, they must go to Manila to try and viral off the other set of pills into Cross’ system or else it could be fatal.

When I first heard they were making another Bourne movie, I was pleasantly excited. Once they said it would be without Matt Damon I became disappointed and didn’t think I would be interested in the movie, that is until they cast Jeremy Renner in the lead role. Renner has been steadily proving himself as a great actor over the last few years, gaining a couple of Oscar nominations along the way, so he sounded like a great replacement. The trailers looked great and made me think it would be right up there with the first three movies. After seeing the movie, my feelings are a bit mixed.

The action scenes in The Bourne Legacy are top notch. Just like the first three movies all the hand-to-hand combat scenes with Renner and his enemies are great, as well as a chase scene that comes toward the end of the movie. Jeremy Renner does a great job taking over for Matt Damon and nobody else would have been better for me. Edward Norton is always great but here they don’t give his character much to do except bark orders at everyone he works with. Not a bad performance but definitely not one of Norton’s best. A couple characters from the previous movies show up, most notably Pamela Landy (Joan Allen), but they’re only on screen for barely a minute and just felt pretty pointless. Lastly, Rachel Weisz was hit and miss for me. She seemed all over the place throughout the movie; at times she was pretty good but there were a few scenes where she was just a little too over the top.

My main problem I had with The Bourne Legacy was the story. It had an alright premise but I couldn’t get invested in it too much like I did with the other movies in the series. The movie takes a good forty five minutes to an hour before it really gets going, although once it does it hardly lets up. Had they maybe cut out a little bit in the beginning, to get the story moving a little faster, then it may have worked somewhat better.

Other than the story taking a little too long to get going and a couple sub-par performances, The Bourne Legacy is thoroughly entertaining. Great action sequences and a good performance by Jeremy Renner are what make this movie.

Flickering Myth Rating: Film ★ ★ / Movie ★ ★ ★

Jake Peffer

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