Friday, August 10, 2012

MOVIE REVIEW: The Bourne Legacy

This movie review for The Bourne Legacy was written by guest blogger Liz Parker...

We were previously introduced to Jason Bourne, played by Matt Damon, in 2002's The Bourne Identity, 2004's Bourne Supremacy, and 2007's Bourne Ultimatum. While the third movie closed the trilogy effectively, for some reason the studios have decided to reboot with a new Bourne here. Jeremy Renner plays the new anti-hero, with the idea that Jason Bourne wasn't the only trained "superagent" out there. Unfortunately, not even Jeremy Renner can save this film, as it's confusing, muddled, and drags for the first half-hour.

The movie starts out very slowly and doesn't really explain much. We see Aaron Cross (Renner, The Avengers) trying to survive in the Alaskan wilderness by warding off wolves, and for a second I thought I was watching 2011's The Grey. The stories flip back and forth between this and the CIA trying to institute a major cover-up of some of their old programs, some of which involved Jason Bourne. Cross meets another agent and narrowly escapes assasination, leading him to flee Alaska. When Cross finally gets back to the central U.S. he finds Dr. Marta Shearing (Rachel Weisz, Dream House) about to be assassinated as well, and he saves her and they go on the run together. He's looking for "chems" to help sustain his physical and mental strength, only to find that the rest of the agents were weaned off of them months ago. Cross and Shearing must elude the CIA killers sent to find them, or at the very least find the killers before the killers find them.

Edward Norton was one of the CIA "bad guys" in this film, and he had a small but juicy role. Weisz and Renner do fine with what they have, but unfortunately this isn't much. Flashbacks are employed here as an effective tool, but unfortunately are "too little, too late" for most of the movie. You won't find Matt Damon in this movie except in photographs, but I think he didn't want to do any more Bourne movies which is why Renner took over the series.

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No, don't see this movie. The only really enjoyable parts were the conclusion and the exciting car chases. I'm not sure if the studio is planning on making this another trilogy, or at least doing another film as a follow-up to this one, but I hope they don't; Matt Damon's legacy as Jason Bourne shouldn't be tarnished any more.

The Bourne Legacy is in theaters now and is rated PG-13 with a runtime of 135 minutes. 2.5 stars out of 5.

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Liz Parker is a University of Michigan graduate with a degree in Creative Writing and Literature, and she loves going to the movies. Visit her at her movie blog Yes/No Films
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