Review: THE BOURNE LEGACY

By Mark Saldana 

Rating: 2 (Out of 4 Stars)

 

Apparently the legacy of Jason Bourne is boredom.  That is exactly what I experienced as I watched this dull and lifeless attempt to extend this spy action/thriller franchise without its main character.  Inspired by the book series by Robert Ludlum, writer/director Tony Gilroy working with his brother Dan struggles to launch a new hero’s story.  These struggles are clearly evident as a lame plot unfolds on the big screen taking up most of the run time and without enough of the breathtaking action and fighting scenes that made the previous movies so much fun.

Following the events of The Bourne Ultimatum, the C.I.A. has decided to clean house, meaning termination of all programs and their agents.  While on assignment, Aaron Cross (Jeremy Renner) survives his assassination attempt and decides to seek out those who have targeted him.  Working with scientist Dr. Marta Shearing (Rachel Weisz), Cross sets into motion a plan to expose the superiors he feels have betrayed him.

Gilroy who adapted Ludlum’s novels in the previous installments tries to start a new original continuation of the series, but fails in delivering a compelling story and an empathetic lead character.  Most of the movie feels like a huge setup for a major revelation, but ultimately disappoints.  So much time is dedicated to uninteresting exposition and not enough of the story develops the Cross character well.  To make things even more boring, the movie lacks a substantial amount of edge-of-the-seat thrills.  The movie does have a few exciting moments, but these are too few and too far in between.

I really like Jeremy Renner.  I recognized his talent and intense screen presence in both The Hurt Locker and The Town.  Unfortunately, his gifts are wasted here with an uncompelling character.  Aaron Cross is no Jason Bourne.  Jason Bourne, not only is an ass-kicking super-spy, he has a charismatic personality that is absent from Cross.  This is not Renner’s fault at all.  I feel that he does his best, but the Gilroys really forgot to give their character a lovable disposition of his own.  The same goes for the other characters in the story.  Rachel Weisz, Edward Norton and the rest all perform adequately, but the writing certainly fails them.

So it should go without saying that I cannot really recommend paying ticket prices to see this film.  I’m not even sure I would recommend spending the money to rent it either.  I would suggest waiting to see this on cable, satellite, or instant stream.  I have seen the legacy and it  makes me yawn.

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