The Bourne Legacy (2012) by The Critical Movie Critics

Movie Review: The Bourne Legacy (2012)

The Bourne Legacy (2012) by The Critical Movie Critics

Deadly with two guns.

Jason Bourne is one of the more intriguing film characters of the past decade. He methodically and purposefully found out who he was, who was responsible for his condition, and attempted to bring everything back together again. Even better, he was not a superhero; Jason was just a guy who went through a lot of training. He is elite, but deep down he is still one of us. Aaron Cross (Jeremy Renner), on the other hand, has been tweaked a little bit. He pops pills to up his physical and mental skills. Yes, he is still human too, but perhaps a bit genetically modified. This splash of sci/fi does not help an audience tuned in to the adventures of Jason Bourne connect with the new guy.

When I first heard there was another Bourne installment, this time without Matt Damon, I figured someone either wrote a good script to carry on a new story line, or the studio wanted to churn out a guaranteed cash cow under the title of a proven and successful action series. Writer/director Tony Gilroy wrote the scripts for the first three Bourne films, but this is his first time behind the camera in the series. He successfully directed “Michael Clayton” and the under-appreciated “Duplicity,” but now the magic is gone. The Bourne Legacy is stale.

Enduring a painfully slow beginning, The Bourne Legacy reveals it is set at the same point in time as “The Bourne Ultimatum.” In fact, if you have forgotten the plot points and supporting characters of the previous film, take the time to either watch it again or read about it online before heading into the new feature. Jason Bourne’s escapades have thrown multiple CIA operations out in the open and the shadowy powers are frantically trying to sweep them under the rug before either Congress or the press start asking questions. Eric Byer (Edward Norton) orders the termination of Project Outcome, the new series of super agent represented by Aaron Cross (Renner). Instead of telling the agents to pack up and go home, the CIA chooses to assassinate them instead. Oh, and they try to wipe out all of the scientists who made them so super in the first place.

The Bourne Legacy (2012) by The Critical Movie Critics


Dr. Marta Shearing (Rachel Weisz) is one of those scientists seeking ways to alter chromosomes to make a more perfect human. After surviving annihilation himself, Aaron conveniently scoops the good doctor out of harms way which sets up an “us against them” theme quite similar to the one you remember from “The Bourne Identity.” Unfortunately, The Bourne Legacy noticeably lacks the quality script and thrilling action sequences of that first film. The chase scenes in the new film are edited so atrociously, especially during motorcycle elements, that they are almost impossible to logically follow. You know they are weaving in and out of traffic, there are near misses, and flying bullets; but there are only quick glimpses of that on the screen in the midst of the unsteady camera work and split-second jump cuts.

“The Bourne Identity” also had a mystery to unravel and wandered around the world trying to find out who was behind the curtain. There is no curtain now, Edward Norton is pulling the strings in plain sight using all of the means in the intelligence community he can lay his hands on. There are armed Predator drones, devious mop-up CIA killing squads, and even a possible super-duper agent; imagine the Schwarzenegger Terminator battling the new T-1000.

Renner and Weisz do their best to remake a film which was already pretty great. Yes, they have new names and faces, but they are running from the same agency, dodging the same bullets, but this time they have a higher chromosomal level on their side. The Bourne Legacy will be known as that film which derailed the very respectable Bourne franchise. Paul Greengrass, the director of “The Bourne Supremacy” and “The Bourne Ultimatum,” was correct when he said any further film would feel like “The Bourne Redundancy.”

Critical Movie Critic Rating:
2 Star Rating: Bad


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'Movie Review: The Bourne Legacy (2012)' have 14 comments

  1. The Critical Movie Critics

    August 10, 2012 @ 7:32 pm Eddie

    I liked Renner in the role, however, the overall feel of the movie doesn’t compare to the original trilogy. Its missing that ‘covert’ atmosphere that made the Damon flicks so gripping…

  2. The Critical Movie Critics

    August 10, 2012 @ 8:07 pm Leezor

    Why do they have to run a great series into the mud? Bourne should have been left as a trilogy.

    • The Critical Movie Critics

      December 1, 2012 @ 10:19 pm Adam

      For the benjamins.

  3. The Critical Movie Critics

    August 10, 2012 @ 8:47 pm ChocolateHead

    I liked it. Lots of action and a solid enough story. The end could have been better,

  4. The Critical Movie Critics

    August 10, 2012 @ 9:15 pm Donkey Punch

    Went in skeptical. Came out satisfied.

  5. The Critical Movie Critics

    August 10, 2012 @ 10:39 pm JollyTom

    As much of a fan I am of Damon in the role of superspy I thought Renner did an equally good job. I can’t believe I’m actually looking forward to the sequel!

  6. The Critical Movie Critics

    August 10, 2012 @ 11:06 pm Pete

    Easily the worst of the series.

  7. The Critical Movie Critics

    August 11, 2012 @ 1:22 am RYAN

    None do the Ludlum books justice..this is the worst offender of them all though.

  8. The Critical Movie Critics

    August 11, 2012 @ 4:28 am killdawg

    Drug addict trained to kill people kills people. News at 11.

  9. The Critical Movie Critics

    August 11, 2012 @ 1:27 pm Facts-Man

    It’s a well made movie with a good cast and better than decent action sequences, problem is I didn’t care about anyone or anything…

  10. The Critical Movie Critics

    August 11, 2012 @ 6:41 pm Morganna

    Legacy does take its sweet time getting up to speed but once Renner and Weisz get together midway through the film, it picks up and never looks back. Renner and Weisz having great onscreen chemistry was a big part of that success.

  11. The Critical Movie Critics

    August 12, 2012 @ 7:16 pm Will

    Renner filled the shoes nicely. Movie wasn’t anything special.

  12. The Critical Movie Critics

    August 15, 2012 @ 7:36 pm Charles Pern

    The industry is in a better place with movies like the Bourne series (or Bond series) in rotation. I’ll continue to watch them so long as they continue to make them.

  13. The Critical Movie Critics

    November 8, 2012 @ 2:34 pm Dick

    It has the longest and most unsatisfying motorcycle chase ever recorded.

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