Film Review: The Bourne Legacy
Share This Article:
3/5 When watching the Bourne Legacy, I ended up asking myself one question: how does this rate as a Bourne film? As an independent intellectual thriller, the movie does its job – and it does it better than most. It’s better because it’s Bourne – the apotheosis of the espionage genre. But its link to its predecessors is what leaves this somewhat spin-off sequel to Tony Gilroy’s Bourne trilogy unclear in the watcher’s mind. It has received mixed reviews and this is purely down to the juxtaposition between its performance as a film and the expectations of it as a Bourne film. The movie starts off with new protagonist Aaron Cross (Jeremy Renner) demonstrating his capacity to survive in the Alaskan tundra. From the off, you can tell that he was trained by those that trained Jason Bourne. He finds his way to a cabin (said to be a checkpoint for the agents of his programme) where he is greeted by a tenacious colleague, called agent Number Three. All the while, Eric Bryer (Edward Norton) is following the events of The Bourne Ultimatum (the shooting of the Guardian reporter, the arrests of senior CIA officials and so forth) and has taken the pivotal decision to shut Outcome, the black ops program that created this whole situation, down. The decision to terminate inevitably has consequences for Cross, and a missile is sent to the cabin he is in. He survives; Number Three does not. A good half an hour into the film and the stage is only being set – the opening is rather slow-paced. Though this is not a criticism, as it serves a purpose. And I like to think this is symbolic: whatever Cross can do, it will never be as strong, fast or effective as the iconic Bourne. Though, in true ‘Treadstone’ style, Cross does make it out of Alaska and the way in which he does it is pleasing for the trademark action movie follower. He defeats the automated jet that is sent to kill him and fights a pack of wolves on the way – Matt Damon would be proud. The rest of the plot is triggered by Bryer’s initial decision to call a close to all Outcome operations. A lab where chemicals are produced to enhance the special agents’ physical and cognitive abilities is subject to a mass shooting from a doctor gone mad; it is later revealed that his behaviour is chemically influenced by those in charge to carry out the attack. Dr Marta Shearing (Rachel Weisz) is the sole survivor of the incident. But naturally, those at the CIA want her dead and assassins are sent to make it look like suicide; at the same time, they have also killed off the other remaining agents.
- Article continues below...
- More stories you may like...
- Departures film review: Maisie Williams and Asa Butterfield shine in this YA film
- Chuchotage short film review: An attempt at a rom-com falls short
- Eaten by Lions review: A comedic tale of two brothers
You might also like...
People who read this also read...
CONTRIBUTOR OF THE MONTH