The Collection

The Bourne Legacy - Review

5 years after the conclusion of the Bourne Trilogy comes The Bourne Legacy. An expansion of the universe from Robert Ludlum's novels, this film centers on a new hero, Aaron Cross (Jeremy Renner), whose stakes are triggered by the events of the previous three films.

The set-up for The Bourne Legacy is as follows; Aaron Cross and other "program candidates" (highly skilled agents part of a top secret CIA program) are terminated in attempts to cover-up any information about the secret program leaking to the media. However attempts at killing Cross are foiled and events see Cross come across paths with Rachel Weisz' character, Dr. Shearing. Together Shearing (who is also being hunted by the CIA for her involvement with the program) and Cross attempt to escape the clutches of the CIA in a daring cross-globe adventure (so to speak). Retired Colonel (USAF) Eric Byer, played by Edward Norton, is the man in charge of hunt for Cross and Shearing.

As expected the film is just as suspenseful and action-packed as the previous installments. The run-time of the film is around an hour and a half, but the events seem to unfold at a much quicker pace - which is of course a good thing. One of the film's best set-pieces takes place near the beginning of the film as Cross faces-off against several CIA operatives inside of Dr. Shearing's large home. The whole sequence is heart-pounding and a large reminder of why the Bourne films are so great. It's this type of intelligence in directing and stunt coordination that will influence all action films to follow. 

Jeremy Renner does an excellent job of filling the shoes of Matt Damon, who arguably made the series what it is. Weisz puts in a convincing role as Dr. Shearing who's character is a brilliant geneticist mostly unaware of the extent of the work she's doing. Edward Norton nearly steals the show with his role; a character who will use any means necessary to accomplish his goals. The film does an excellent job pitting both Renner and Norton against one another.

This latest Bourne outing is directed by the same man who wrote the previous 3 films, Tony Gilroy. Setting an Oscar winning director in the chair seemed like the way to go in making this another excellent Bourne outing. And while for the most part the film accomplishes what it sets out to do, it does come short in a few areas. The plot is intelligent and the action is top tier, and while audiences will find it easy to get behind Aaron Cross and Dr. Shearing, ultimately they'll wonder if this film was really necessary. In the end this is a welcome edition to the Bourne Saga, and though it may not be the best, it certainly entertains and will be looked back upon as one of the best action films of 2012.

Official Review by: James Elliott

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