Saturday Review: Movie: The Bourne Legacy
August 11, 2012
The latest installment of the Bourne franchise fails to hit the mark. The lack of any substantial storyline meant the film relied heavily upon high octane action sequences, which paled in comparison to the original series. Jeremy Renner plays a lack luster role as Aaron Cross, a two dimensional character with little to no back story; thus giving no reason for the audience to identify with the character, and be on his side.
The story runs parallel with the third Bourne movie and introduces the audience to another super-secret government department, the National Research Assay Corp (NRA). The NRA is headed by Eric Byer (Edward Norton), who is so high up in security clearance he is on more than one occasion giving orders to 3 star generals and is unquestioned by all top level CIA agents. So it appears the NRA is where the true power lies and was behind the secret government programs seen in the original series.
The new project is called Outcome, the next level operation to its predecessor Treatstone. It involves giving chemicals to a group of average soldiers (Aaron Cross had to have his IQ moved up 12 points to be accepted into the Army) to increase their intelligence and physical capabilities (greens and blues), instead of using soldiers such as Jason Bourne, who was already intelligent. There is a lot of scientific talk, which goes wayward, on the audience. Once the Bourne incident becomes somewhat public, the NRA, decides to kill all the outcome agents. All in the the interest of self-preservation, disguised by national defense interests. But oops, they missed one. The rest of the movie is a rehash of the original Jason Bourne movie.
To further complicate matters, and to also add a female interest role Dr. Marta Shearing (Rachel Weisz) one of the scientists behind the drugs administered in the program, is now a target of the NRA. The scientists involved in Outcome have to be killed as part of the cover-up, and that makes Cross and Shearing natural allies. Cross, just like a junkie, comes looking for Shearing. Thinking that she would have a stash of his blue and greens, of which he desperately needs a fix.
The Bourne Legacy is essentially a long chase, however mostly conducted by satellite, surveillance camera, and computers in high-tech offices. This leads to a dull experience for the audience who find themselves looking at their watch, waiting to see some excitement. When something finally happens the action is devoid of texture, with mediocre action sequences and prolonged tiresome chases through the streets of Manila. The chase is very reminiscent of the train station chase scene in the Bourne Ultimatum, but without the excitement.
The result is a poor copy of an already overplayed franchise, that fails to stimulate even the basic of human senses.
Have you seen the movie yet? Do you agree or disagree with PB?
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