Movie Review: The Bourne Legacy – Wait, It’s Over?

As a stand alone film, “The Bourne Legacy” is quite decent.  Unfortunately, people are inevitably going to compare this latest installment of the “Bourne” series with its predecessors, upon which this one is clearly the weakest.

As soon as I walked out of the theater, I started remembering how good the previous films were.

With Paul Greengrass, director of “The Bourne Supremacy” and “Ultimatum”, and Matt Damon, Bourne himself, out of the lineup, Tony Gilroy (who co-wrote the previous films), and Jeremy Renner takes their place for “Legacy”.  Despite the absence of Greengrass, I had high expectations for Gilroy, who directed the much acclaimed “Michael Clayton.”  But this film shows how much Greengrass is missed, as “Legacy” lacks the intensity and emotional force from Greengrass’ films.

The entire film feels like a “Bourne-lite”:  Everything is reminiscent of the previous films, but Bourne is missing, except for a picture appearance; the plot is not as engaging and complex, the action not as thrilling, and, worst of all, the ending was underwhelming, as opposed to the endings of the previous two films, which were very satisfying.

I was shocked at how the movie ended, as certain scenes near the end had me convinced that there was at least another half an hour of movie left, which I would have been fine with.  So when Moby’s recurring theme song played I thought “wait… what?”

The plot for “Legacy” is simple, too simple, in fact.  Its slow pacing and linearity resulted in some boring stretches.  There were no dots to connect, nothing that kept me on the edge of my seat.

Again, it might seem as if I disliked this film.  I don’t.  I’d say this film is a tad better than “Safe House”, the action thriller that was a surprise hit at the box office starring Denzel Washington and Ryan Reynolds.  At least “Legacy” isn’t one of the most predictable films I’ve ever seen.

The stars of “Legacy” are fantastic.  Renner establishes Aaron Cross as someone distinctly different from Damon’s Bourne, and that makes it all the more exciting to see a potential sequel that starts both characters.  Rachel Weisz is brilliant as always.  Even though her character isn’t very dynamic or well-developed, she plays it with conviction and emotion, and I believed in every action she took and every line she delivered.

So, despite the fact that “The Bourne Legacy” doesn’t stack up against the previous Bourne films, fans of the series should go see it, if anything, to keep the series going and see how the overarching story develops.  Those looking for a decent action thriller should check it out too.  While it’s not a great action movie, it’s certainly entertaining.

Author: dky1

A graduated (but still caffeinated) student. I write mostly politics and movie reviews in the Third Cup blog, and some fiction, short stories, and gaming journal on the Loner's Diaries blog.

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