Wednesday, August 15, 2012


Directed by: Tony Gilroy 
Written by: Tony and Dan Gilroy
Starring: Jeremy Renner, Rachel Weisz, and Edward Norton 
Synopsis: After the events of THE BOURNE ULTIMATUM, an agent is on the run after his black-ops program is violently terminated. 

As part of the intro, I was considering opening up the discussion with the fact that this is yet another "unnecessary" sequel/reboot. But honestly, I don't hold that against the movie. The talent is all there, and I can assure you I went to the movie with an open mind. The BOURNE films are the "Nolan/Batman" answer to the campy and terrible Pierce Brosman JAMES BOND movies. They had a distinct visual style and were relevant in today's ambiguous moral zone that seemed to dominate post 9/11 warfare. Plus, it has given me years of great lazy Sunday afternoon background noise.

I actually really like the name "BOURNE LEGACY" because the movie truly deals with the aftermath of Jason Bourne and Pamela Landy's actions at the end of BOURNE ULTIMATUM and how Edward Norton's Eric Byer has to scramble to fix the political PR disaster that will come from the upcoming hearing should the operations be made public. On the flip side, you have Jeremy Renner's Bourne-stand in, Aaron Cross, and his never ending quest for "chems"  that he was given as part of Operation Outcome. Apparently, the way that the CIA made super agents was to give them "chems" or one pill to better their cellular structure and then another to increase their mental capacity.

When you break it down, the movie is about a junkie (Cross) and a man that has to come and make some really hard decisions (Byer). Their goals are completely contradictory, and yet I sort of found myself rooting for both of them. You see the motivation for both of these men's actions. I particularly found Byer's storyline more interesting. By wiping out Operation Outcome, he has to become someone that is put in a difficult yet necessary position, even if I'm not the biggest fan of the methods in which he goes about doing this. In order for the CIA to come out of this situation unscathed, they will have to "terminate assets" that have become invaluable in our fight against terrorism.

Cross, as I alluded earlier, had a pretty lame motivation for the majority of movie. Until you actually see his back story, he can and does come off as just a CIA-trained version of Bane, needing constant influx of chemicals to maintain his strength and mental dexterity. On topic of Jeremy Renner, he makes a fine enough Matt Damon replacement, because let's face it, that's what we were all wondering. When he wasn't acting like a weird druggie in constant need of "chems," I enjoyed his type of humor. Plus he was pulling some awesome MacGuyver moves that had nothing to do with the fighting. If anything, I got more of a sense that Cross was an all around intelligent individual. The action itself , while nothing out of the ordinary, is the highlight of the movie. The climax of the movie is a pretty long chase sequence and was impressive because it lasts a good 20 minutes from start to finish going from an apartment building through at least two different types of vehicles.

Ultimately what you get is a movie that is at a strange crossroad because while it's trying to become it's own movie and subsequently a launching point for the new portion of the franchise, the ghost of Jason Bourne haunts it. The movie takes place during the events and after of BOURNE ULTIMATUM, so we get all of these funny little references to the previous movies like scenes from London and New York. While it is nice to see the continuity, seeing a newsreel explaining what happened to a X plot line or Y character with zero consequence to the main plot was a bit distracting. And while I will not spoil it, the last third of the movie just stops on its tracks. And that was my biggest complaint about the movie. I know a lot of people hated PROMETHEUS for being a set up for the upcoming sequels. Those people will really dislike this movie and its ending. It truly feels like telling a complete story was not at all in Tony Gilroy's mind, and the movie suffers for it. I was expecting there to be a Marvel style post credits sequence to lend some sort of conclusion to the story.

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