on December 15, 2012
I confess I am addicted to this series of movies, but this one is quite different as it delves into the science behind the agents in the 'Program'. Don't expect Jeremy Renner to replace Matt Damon, as this is not the intent. Renner is quite a good actor in his own right, and has risen in the ranks of action stars recently, most notably as 'Hawkeye' in the Avengers. The Bourne Legacy starts slow, but picks up tempo quite quickly as it intertwines with the plot of the Bourne Ultimatum. There is a great supporting cast including Edward Norton and Rachel Weisz. The car chase is replaced by motorcycles, but in all a great follow up to the previous three movies. If you liked them, this will not disappoint.
on August 11, 2012
Other reviewers have already recounted much of the plot. So, I'll skip that and go to a critique of the production itself.
I gave this an overall rating of four stars because I found the movie to be interesting, engaging, with a good story and some really good action scenes. I found that I cared about the primary characters - Renner and Weisz. This tells me that the characters were fairly well developed and interesting
Renner's character, Aaron Cross, would have been more compelling if more of his backstory came out sooner, and if his pathetic origin were presented differently. I think Weisz' character could have used more backstory too - all I know about her is that she's an attractive scientist with a top secret clearance.
The story is really good. But this movie could have been a classic if the plot were tightened up and presented differently - too much dialogue where 'showing' instead of 'talking' would have got it across to the viewer better - this is especially true during the first part of the film.
The camera work was excellent. With more experience, I think Gilroy's skills in this area will improve to a level near Greengrass' excellent abilities. Also, there's lots of good acting in this movie.
On Rotten Tomatoes, the critics are currently tabulating at 51% positive, while the audience is at 70%. I think the critics (overall) are getting it wrong - primarily, I think, because they're comparing it to the high standards set by the previous Bourne movies.
This is a high-quality production that tells a good story. In addition, I felt an emotional connection with the main characrters - I cared about them. For these reasons, I strongly recommend it.
on September 7, 2012
When the doctor (talented Academy Award winner Rachel Weisz) puts Aaron Cross (equally-excellent 2-time Academy Award nominee Jeremy Renner) "under" in order to perform medical tests on him, she asks him to count backwards from 100. Probably very few people realized that he said, "You are beautiful...ninety-nine...ninety-eight...ninety-seven...." IN RUSSIAN. When non-native speakers of a language have to "think arithmetic," they almost always revert to their native language. Hmm... Perhaps there is more to Aaron Cross than meets the eye???
on December 25, 2012
This movie was surprisingly good after it got some pretty bad reviews. With a 51% rating on Rotten Tomatoes, I expected it to be a disappointment but this movie was engaging, action-packed, and very similar to the other Bourne movies. Its not a carbon copy of the 3 previous Bourne movies, but it still has incorporated the aspects of them and had it's own little twists. Great movie. I definatly recommend it. I'm a Bourne movie fan myself and this movie is another great installation.
on July 17, 2012
The Bourne Legacy does not feature Matt Damon's character, Jason Bourne. Instead a new agent, Aaron Cross played by Jeremy Renner, is introduced. Aaron Cross is similar to Jason Bourne in many ways and there are hints that he is a genetically improved version of the agents that Treadstone created. Rachel Weisz plays Cross' romantic interest, Edward Norton plays the main antagonist, and Joan Allen, David Strathairn, Albert Finney, and Scott Glenn return as Landy, Vosen, Hirsch and Kramer, respectively, all from previous Bourne installments.
The movie also attempts to tie in the previous Bourne movies and their plots into this installment. Most interesting about this movie is that it builds on what we have learned in the last three movies, but promises that Jason Bourne was just the beginning and that the conspiracy is much larger than just the Treadstone project.
After Treadstone was revealed by Bourne and Landy at the end of the third movie the CIA and top government officials attempt to erase all traces of Operation Outcome which includes disposing of Aaron Cross. Operation Outcome is similar to Treadstone in that it creates assassins but the main difference is that the Outcome agents are 'created' with the use of genetic modification. The central plot of the movie revolves around Renner's character, Aaron Cross, as he attempts to find more pills to sustain his super strength, intellect and ability, while dodging men sent to eliminate him and other Outcome agents.
The movie itself started very slowly while they attempted to tie in everything from the last Bourne movie into this. New scenes were inserted into Bourne film #3 to explain why the CIA was attempting to eliminate Project Outcome and then moves towards silencing Landy. While it is much slower paced than the last Bourne film, the action scenes that were shown were amazing! The rooftop chase was my favorite, and the ending seems much more carefree than the last three Bourne movies. They also introduce LARX, another program where agents were genetically improved, and one of their agents goes after Cross. Without any ties to Treadstone or Outcome, LARX seems to be given a free pass. I wish more of that was explored or that the antagonist was harder to eliminate. Hopefully there will be more to come!
on June 17, 2013
The Bourne Legacy essentially is a continuation of the Bourne Ultimatum, in fact much of the film runs in tandem with the Bourne Ultimatum in that there are references to Bourne being in Manhattan, Pamela Landy's work to implicate
Noah Vosen, Ezra Kramer, and Dr. Albert Hirsch in their involvement with Treadstone, Blackbriar, and other operations. What threw me for a loop was that everything that was established in the Bourne Ultimatum, that is all of the evidence that Bourne (or David Webb, take your pick) and Landy assembled to take down those involved with the program appears to be negated in The Bourne Legacy. Well, maybe not negated, but we see Noah Vosen slithering through a plethora of words to essentially say "what difference does it make!" in reference to Treadstone, Blackbriar, etc. The last we see of Pam Landy is her getting into a car, followed by the press, and telling them that if they want any other comments to speak with her lawyer but that she did not have any regrets about the choices/statements she had made. So, maybe this is the storyteller's way of saying that those behind Treadstone, Blackbriar, etc. will be held accountable.
That said, the Bourne Legacy centers around Aaron Cross, who is a member of another program called "Outcome" - essentially Treadstone but this program also uses physical and mental enhancing medications to regiment its operatives. The events of the Bourne Ultimatum send those running Outcome to scurrying around like rats, feverishly working to scrap all evidence of the program to cover their rear-ends. Of course, their fail to eliminate Aaron Cross and one of the research scientists developing the medications, Dr. Marta Shearing - thus we have our new "Jason and Marie". They discover that Aaron has been weened off of the physical medication but the mental medications requires one last treatment, which takes them to Manilia (the capital of the Philippines) in order to obtain the medication. Once done, it is a mad dash to go dark and avoid those behind Outcome.
An intriguing idea, all in all, but the film feels like it is in need of a sequel (or at least an epilogue would have been helpful) to wrap up loose ends, maybe they are leaving that up to the audience.
on December 16, 2012
For those who do not know, and are expecting to see Matt Damon reprise his role as Jason Bourne in this movie, he does not. He is referred to, and some of the events in the Bourne Ultimatum are tied into this movie, but this is a separate story. I do think Jeremy Renner and (the ageless) Rachel Weisz perform well in their respective roles. Weisz does a great job as a doctor who is somewhat naive about the consequences of her work. Renner also does a good job as Cross and makes him different enough from Bourne that is does not just seem to be a total rehash of what we have already seen. Edward Norton also does a good job as the government foil who is trying to hunt down Cross.
As my title says, this movie expands the Bourne Universe beyond the operatives we already knew existed. It certainly sets up the possibility of more movies including the possibility that Bourne and Cross will team up at some point. You get the requisite balance of action and story as were in the other movies. Like in the other movies it does slow down in the middle, but I did not find it was dragging too much for me. You also get the trademark Bourne chase scene near the end of the movie. This time a motorcycle chase through Manilla.
Ultimately, if you enjoyed the other movies (as long as you are not one of those who cannot see anyone other than Damon in the lead role) you will probably find this one enjoyable as well. While there are elements from the other movies (and even continues the story line from the Bourne Ultimatum at the end) it does for the most part stand on its own. Like the other movies, it does take a good amount of suspension of disbelief, because there are certainly absurd moments, but if you can get beyond that I recommend it.
Sequels always invite comparisons especially when they change main characters. Also the only thing "Bourne" about this film is the legacy part. Bourne's out of the picture (sorry), and is replaced by his legacy, Aaron Cross (played by Jeremy Renner). Actors from past Bourne movies include Joan Allen, David Strathairn, and Albert Finney. Ed Norton, Stacy Keach and Rachel Weisz are added to the credits.
This is a movie you have to watch very closely. One bathroom break or trip to the refrigerator and you're done. You will not figure this out if you fast for a month and seek the answer in a vision. I finally pick up an idea of what the movie is about with Ed Norton's character who is trying to contain a Tread stone-like descendant operation, Operation Outcome that he is afraid will get out of control with scandalous outcomes. (Sorry again). The only way to do that is to kill the next generation of agents who are chemically engineered to perform significant feats of prowess and bravery. Rachel Weisz, stunning as ever, is Doctor Marta Shearing, or Doctor Death, as I like to call her. She administers dose and drug to the agents, and almost becomes a victim of the program when one scientist targets other scientists, killing everyone but her. The CIA sends another team pretending to be concerned caregivers to help her kill herself.
Enter Aaron Cross who comes out of nowhere and we see the first real hand-to-hand combat action that is even more awesome as they increase camera speed until you can't even follow the blows and blocks anymore. Cross and Shearing join forces to discover why they have been targeted for elimination. The trail takes them to Manila with the Police and an assassin rounding out a great chase scene that begins on foot and ends up in motorcycles.
The beginning of the movie is slow before going bipolar with a pace and script that is hard to follow. Flashbacks to previous Bourne movies and characters try to tie in the past (Bourne) to what's going on today (his legacy). If you haven't seen previous Bourne adventures, it can obfuscate as easily as clarify. The best part for me was the mortal combat, the wolves, the sound during chases, and the part in Alaska. The worse part for was the plot, the story, the script, the pace, and the part in Alaska.
You may have to watch this twice before you understand it, and three times before you like it.
For me, this was Operation Gall Stone.
on July 8, 2013
"...But could you ever say it loud enough, and fast enough, that they'd be too afraid to finish what they started." - Aaron Cross
I loved this movie on so many different levels; the actors, the sets, the action and the urgency of the story. The screenplay was excellent and Jeremy Renner and Rachel Weisz bring so much to the characters of Aaron Cross and Marta Shearing. What could have been a straightforward, no-emotion plot turns out to be a nail-biting thriller. The cinematography is great for bringing out the details and adding depth to this incredible movie. The beginning was startlingly quick and real. The rooftop/street chase was absolutely amazing; the best chase sequence I've seen yet on screen. The ending was perfect. I consider this one of my favorite films.
The only serious con to the film: The plot was slow to start. The heart-pounding action did not really kick in--and the two protagonists didn't even meet--until about 40 minutes into the film. (I believe a movie should be well-grounded and moving within the first 20 minutes.) But it is a difficult thing to tie The Bourne Legacy to the previous trilogy, and it was done really well, so I'm not overly bothered. The scenes are quick and sharp, so at least the beginning isn't bogged down. If you are looking for an action movie that is more than a simple plot with a lot of fistfights, then this is a fantastic pick.
on September 12, 2013
When I found out that Matt Damon wasn't attached I was upset, but after watching this film I understood and saw the light! Jeremy Renner's character isn't Jason Bourne, which came at a relief for me. Jeremy plays Aaron Cross, another soldier who was just like Bourne. Anyhow, watch it for yourself and see, this movie is awesome and won't come at a disappointment.