12. The Bourne Legacy (PG-13) - Runtime: 135 minutes
Starring: Jeremy Renner, Edward Norton, Rachel Weisz
Director: Tony Gilroy
Writer: Tony Gilroy, Dan Gilroy
I was super, super excited to see this movie. Then the reviews came out and a lot of people I heard left the theaters disappointed. So I avoided this in the theaters - I just couldn't bear to be let down in the theaters - better to save that shame for home. But I don't know what the big deal was - this movie is straight up another Bourne movie - just with a new character not named Bourne (an ironic fact that's not lost on me). While this probably won't be considered the best entry (it's clearly inferior to the original trilogy), it's a decent start to turning Bourne into a more sour and grim Bond franchise.
The movie starts at the tail end of The Bourne Ultimatum. Basically the events that played out in the last part of that movie are constantly in the background of Legacy. Aaron Cross is another agent in the field - however he's part of a different program, called Outcome, which relies on each agent to take blue and green pills to enhance their physical and mental capacities. Of course, because of the shit that went down with Bourne, the project director, Eric Byer (Norton) decides to shut it all down which means everyone is expendable. Luckily for us, Cross survives and is on a mission to right wrongs with the help of drug tester Dr. Marta Shearing (Weisz). The only real problem with this movie is you really have to remember and know what went down in the first three. You really can't just jump into this installment without knowing about Treadstone and Jason Bourne.
And really, that's the only big misstep in this movie - I found myself enjoying the whole experience. A lot of people complained there wasn't enough "Bourne" in this movie - that there wasn't a whole lot of action. Which is fair - the movie never really explodes into full-on adrenaline tilt and I understand people's complaints. I just thought the rest of the movie was compelling enough for me (and most definitely not for Maggie - she pretty much picked up her phone halfway through to look at Facebook) that I wanted more after the credits started to roll. In fact, I think the movie sets up a pretty cool way forward for the franchise: if they can get Damon on board (he might want to after his past few leading roles have seen diminishing returns at the box office), it would be awesome to see Renner's idea of Cross and Bourne teaming up to take down the bastards who keep trying to ruin their lives.
Renner is suitable for the role - he's a good action star and I thought he did a good job filling in Damon's shoes. The rest of the cast is good as well - Weisz is good and Norton could have had more scenes where he's throwing shit around the room, yelling at others about their failures. I love how they expanded the universe and would love to see more agents fighting each other in a battle of wits and physicality - the possibilities are numerous and I can't wait to see if they announce another movie.
Don't expect Legacy to blow you away - it's not that kind of movie. But it's not really that bad, either. I really enjoyed the manhunt going on and it was well-paced that I didn't find myself getting bored through the two hours. If you haven't seen any of the Bourne movies, do not watch this one! You will be lost throughout and it will become frustrating. However, if you enjoyed the Bourne movies, Legacy deserves a shot - it's worth checking out to see if you like it or not.
Rating: Rent It!