Today I will be reviewing "The Bourne Legacy", the 4th movie in
the "Bourne" saga. Please do not be confused, this is not
"Bourne 4" but rather a new series which takes place in the Bourne
universe, and while I found myself extremely disappointed to learn back in 2009
that neither Matt Damon nor Paul Greengrass would be attached to this project,
I am glad to say that Jeremy Renner and Tony Gilroy have created a film worthy
of the Bourne name.
Tony Gilroy was actually the screenwriter of the first three Bourne films, and obviously, most of the elements that made the first three films so good have permeated to this new saga. However, It would be a mistake to judge Gilroy's ability by comparing this film to the original trilogy. In order to judge's Gilroy's effort in this film we have to judge it by its own merits.
It would also be unfair to compare Renner's performance in this new film to Damon's performance in the first three films; however Renner's charisma is an important asset that helps this film stand out. The instant on-screen chemistry with our female lead Weisz is also worth mentioning as I wasn't expecting them to hit it off right away. Edward Norton also features in this film as a retired Air Force colonel who hunts down Cross, but I couldn't decide whether his character was over-worked or if it was meant to be played out like that. To me, the character didn't feel like a real person.
Action buffs will be disappointed to learn that the first hour or so of the film is an introduction to our character and the action scenes are scarce. Their patience however, will be rewarded by a second hour packed with top-of-the-line, mind blowing action, including a high-speed chase through the packed streets of Manila.
The screenplay, which was handled by Tony himself and his brother Dan, is strong enough to make for an excellent spy film. The plot is intelligent and well constructed and doesn't leave a whole lot of questions to be answered, As Matt Neal said it "It's as good a story as you can hope when you're trying to keep a franchise afloat without the main character".
When this film was announced, I couldn't help but wonder, was it worth it to make another Bourne film without, you know, Jason Bourne? Maybe this film would've worked out just fine on its own, we may never know. But also I've realized that we may never get another full blown Bourne film with Damon on it. How these new series will stand out against the highly-acclaimed Bourne trilogy remains to be seen as we will surely get at least a whole "Cross" trilogy, only time will tell how these new series turn out. As of right now I can just say they did the best they could without Bourne.