by Jesus Ibarra
Special coupon for Dinuba Platinum Theatre at the end of this review.
The Bourne Legacy is the fourth entry into the Bourne film series starring Jeremy Renner and Rachel Weisz and aiming to continue the series without the titular Jason Bourne played by Matt Damon in the last three movies. I didn’t envy the makers of this film because they had to come up with a story that was compelling enough to tell without Matt Damon in the lead role, after a successful trilogy. That said, you didn’t have to watch the first three movies in the series because the first half of this movie, basically gives you the gist of what happened.
Was the story compelling, and the action good enough to warrant a side story featuring Jeremy Renner as Aaron Cross the spy? Well yes and no. I really like this movie, and I do think that it was a solid entry into the series, and Jeremy Renner plays a super spy really well, he just lacks that sort of imposing presence Matt Damon had. I kept expecting him to keep cracking goofy grins throughout the movie. Rachel Weisz playing Dr. Marta Shearing, was exceptionally well as his woman accomplice that has been a theme or running plot device used in the last three films.
The basic plot of the movie is now that the CIA’s covert operations have been outed, they opt to burn their most successful one to date to the ground before it gets exposed. Using science, they created super spies who are slightly better than humans. This is where Jeremy Renner’s Aaron Cross comes in, after successfully escaping death he sets on a mission to essentially stay who he is.
I won’t spoil more of the plot because really I think it’s really awesome. I have read that the motivation behind the character Aaron Cross isn’t as emotionally compelling or important than in the previous movies with Jason Bourne (the character from the first three movies), but I have to disagree. Once Jeremy Renner’s character’s motivations become clear, I find them more compelling than the last character. The acting and pacing are really well done. When there is action there is nonstop action, and when there isn’t it’s a great interaction between characters to see what makes them tick.
Now for what I didn’t think worked in the movie. Aside from the insane awesome fight sequences, car chases, and stunts, the dialogue was a bit all over the place. And again, this felt exactly like the first two Bourne movies. CIA tries to kill guy, guy gets a girl sidekick and they go on the run trying to survive. Rachel Weisz even had a similar freak out scream like the first woman sidekick in the Bourne Identity. In addition, another that thing kept nagging me was that after failing to kill and capture Jason Bourne in the last movies, why would the CIA do the exact same thing they tried on Aaron Cross, an essentially super Jason Bourne? My final critique is that by the end of the movie I was left thinking ok, so what is going to happen now that all this has been uncovered by the public. The movie ends with a really ambiguous note, I am assuming to get a sequel, but I feel there were better ways to do that with a different ending.
But the good definitely outweighs the bad, and I like I said this is a good entry into the Bourne series, so definitely check it out especially if you were a fan of the first three. Now here is hoping that they get Matt Damon for the next one and have these guys team up to do some more ass kicking.
Check out the trailer on the movie website.
Bourne Legacy is now playing at Dinuba Platinum Theatres 6. Showtimes can be found on their website.