Going into the fourth Bourne film we were all wondering about accepting another actor as the lead in the film. Jeremy Renner (The Hurt Locker, The Avengers) was stepping into the film but not taking Matt Damon’s place. Renner would be the lead as Aaron Cross. Bottom line is there is no Bourne in The Bourne Legacy. Big shoes for Renner to fill as the previous films have featured high quality action. I was really pulling for Renner and writer/director Tony Gilroy (Michael Clayton, Duplicity) with their taking on the massively successful franchise. Unfortunately it did not live up to what Damon and director of the second and third film Paul Greengrass had created.
Kudos to Gilroy for giving another life to the Bourne series as Damon has said he won’t make another one. It would have been a shame if we never got another Bourne film. What turns out to be a shame is that Gilroy brought nothing really new to the story. The film does keep you on the edge of your seat during several sections but definitely not throughout.
Outcome is in trouble. Not run by the CIA, Outcome is the brainchild of retired Admiral Turso (Stacy Keach – American History X, Machete) and retired Colonel Byer (Fight Club, The Incredible Hulk). It has been a useful organization though it’s funding is in danger due to the risk that the public might find out about it. Deciding to think about the future rather than the present, Turso and Byer decide to end the program. What this means is that they will have to terminate or kill off all their present agents.
Aaron Cross (Renner) is one of the nine agents that make up Outcome. All these agents have been injected with medication that increases their speed, stamina and mental abilities. He, of course, does not want to be terminated. Outsmarting his bosses, Cross makes it to the woods in Alaska and hides there.
Wanting to find out what is happening, Cross tracks down scientist Dr. Marta Shearing (Rachel Weisz – The Whistleblower, The Lovely Bones), the only remaining doctor of those who used to “maintain” him. Dr. Shearing has also been targeted for termination. Cross needs the good doctor to keep up his pseudo super abilities. Soon the two are on the run together all over the planet trying to stay alive.
It all began with some hope as the lead up is strong. Then it fell apart for me. Became boring and predictable with the usual cat-and-mouse chase stuff happening. It becomes less a spy thriller at this point and more a romance/commentary on drugs/desperation film. In other words, not what we were there for. Then there is the facts that it is too long and oftentimes muddled so hard to follow that really sink this ship that was already taking on a lot of water.
Bottom line is that the script lets down the two leads – Renner and Weisz. It feels like we’ve seen it all before with The Bourne Legacy. Gilroy brings nothing new to the table and it certainly isn’t as intelligent as the first three films. You can feel and see Renner and Weisz fighting for the film but even their talent cannot save it. Due to the lack of any backstory or reason to care about these two we end up not really caring if they live or die