An expansion of the universe from Robert Ludlum’s novels, centered on a new hero whose stakes have been triggered by the events of the previous three films.
Directed: Tony Gilroy
What we think: When Matt Damon and Paul Greengrass distanced themselves from another trip into the Bourne-verse it was hard to see if any film would ever make it into production.
Then, along came Tony Gilroy, writer of the first three films he seemed to be the logical choice to co-write and direct the fourth installment in this ever popular action franchise.
The Bourne Legacy runs almost parallel with the events of The Bourne Ultimatum, but in this film the only time we get to see Matt Damon’s Jason Bourne is from the odd photograph and his name etched into wood on the underside of a bunk bed.
For this outing Renner plays Aaron Cross an ‘outcome’ agent who finds himself on the run when the powers that be realize that Bourne has broken through and passed vital information about Treadstone and Black Briar to Pam Landy, who in turn passes it onto the media.
So Retired Col. Eric Byer, USAF ( Norton) part of the sinister hierarchy decides its time to shut down and eradicate all other ops, including Cross.
It’s fraught with the occasional plot hole, (just how did Cross know where Shearing lived) here and there but that does little damage to the overall story which is actually quite good. Renner, who is already well equipped for these types of action films fills the void left by Damon very well.
When he’s not battling wolves and shooting drones out of the sky he’s driving a motorbike through the streets of Manila, as well as running through every back street and staircase he can find. And he’s more than capable at hand to hand combat.
He’s joined on his adventure by Dr. Marta Shearing (Weisz) who worked with Cross in the beginning and was tasked with providing the agents with a specific set of medication to take, of which it seems Cross is no longer required but is desperately dependent on.
Whereas Bourne tried to piece together parts of his life, Cross is like a crack head desperate for the next fix and so his motives are different.
Gilroy manages the story well and there are some brief cameos from the likes of Scott Glenn, David Strathairn and Albert Finney to provide a reminder to us all about what has happened previously, just in case we are dealing with our own bout of memory loss.
It’s disappointing not to see Damon reprise one of the best roles of his career but Renner does an admirable job and there is no question that there will be more life in him yet.
View the trailer
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