My sincerest apologies for skipping out on last weeks review, and for submitting this one late. I have been dealing with some personal events that required my attention, and was unable to update this as per my schedule. However, hopefully now that things have settled down I can proceed as intended! Without further ado.
The Bourne Legacy, like all the other Bourne movies, rests heavily on the male demographic and the insatiable need for action that the general movie going public seems to possess. This film had little to do with the actual character Jason Bourne, and more to do with the portfolio of projects that the CIA is running simultaneously. They do reference Jason Bourne a few times, but ultimately, this movie is entirely separate from the original Bourne trilogy. This movie has its ups and downs, but unfortunately I was not nearly as impressed with this film as I was with the prior 3. The casting was pretty good, the visuals were decent, but the overarching story was just bland to me, and that turned this movie from the typical Bourne movie to the stereotypical action movie.
Casting was nice. I’ve always liked Jeremy Renner in anything I’ve seen him in, and this was no exception. Given the expectations that I think were placed on him because it’s a Bourne movie, he certainly met those as far as I could tell. Rachel Weisz did well as the oblivious scientist who doesn’t quite understand why everyone wants her dead. That’s an oddly specific cliche role, but she does it pretty well. Edward Norton was an interesting choice for the role he played, because his character had the necessity of being able to be intimidating, and while Norton can bring that to the table, he doesn’t really do it when it’s necessary in this film, and that’s a bit disappointing.
Visually, this movie did what it was supposed to: create an environment that feels real, and is conducive to chase scenes. It jumped back and forth between several different locations in a pretty flawless manner, and all the locations made sense with the story that was laid out through the film. I had a few issues with this film, however, when it came to Renner’s parkour scenes. When he’s doing the whole wall running, climb up flat walls thing, it looks fake, and it’s quite obvious that he didn’t actually preform those acts. It wouldn’t be as much of a problem if it didn’t stand out so harshly, but the fact that they did so well through all the rest makes this little problem all the more prominent.
Unfortunately, the story is the weak point of this film. If you’ve ever seen the USA show Burn Notice, it’s basically the opening little title sequence from that show drawn out into a 2 hour movie, which is incredibly disappointing. People want other people dead, so they spend two hours chasing him down trying to kill him. That’s why the 2 hour and however many minute run time this movie claims feels like an eternity, and that’s why I caught myself checking my watch throughout the film. I wasn’t engulfed in the film, or connected with the characters, so every shootout and car chase was just something else to take up time. It simply seemed like an endless stream of chases with no depth to it whatsoever. Of course, part of what made the Bourne trilogy so interesting was the inner workings of the government and who was siding with who. I’m sure the same will be true of this new generation of Bourne movies, but for this first one, it was just kind of boring.
So, to conclude, this movie is worth the money considering it has some ties with the original trilogy, even if they are only fleeting, and it is obviously a set up for another movie. Just know what you’re getting into before you see it. If you’re expecting the kind of movie that requires you to think and has a deep story, you will be disappointed. However, if you’re looking for a movie filled with action, and lots of… action, this is your movie. That is pretty much what this movie is, a beginning to end movie of shooting and chases, with a little hint of story just to give it the bare minimum amount of cohesiveness. Is it worth the money? Sure, but is it the Bourne story that answers every question that you could ask about Jason Bourne, and that whole program? No, not in the slightest. But at least go check it out if you can handle 2 solid hours of action movie.