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The Bourne Legacy (2012)

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The Bourne Legacy (2012)

The Bourne Legacy Release Date: August 10th, 2012

The Bourne Legacy Starring:
Jeremy Renner
Edward Norton
Rachel Weisz
Donna Murphy
Joan Allen
Tony Gilroy
Oscar Isaac
Albert Finney
David Strathairn
Scott Glenn
Paddy Considine
Stacy Keach
Zeljko Ivanek
Corey Stoll
Michael Chernus
Elizabeth Marvel
Sheena Colette
Corey Johnson
Dennis Boutsikaris
Michael Papajohn
Louis Ozawa Changchien

The Bourne Legacy Movie Poster

The Bourne Legacy Meter:100%

The Bourne Legacy Director:Tony Gilroy

The Bourne Legacy Writer:Tony Gilroy, Dan Gilroy, Robert Ludlum

The Bourne Legacy Studio:Universal Pictures

The Bourne Legacy Genre:Action, Adventure, Thriller

The Bourne Legacy Official Site:thebournelegacy.net, facebook.com/TheBourneSeries

The Bourne Legacy Runtime:2 hours 15 minutes

The Bourne Legacy: Synopsis

The narrative architect behind the Bourne film series, Tony Gilroy, takes the helm in the next chapter of the hugely popular espionage franchise that has earned almost $1 billion at the global box office: The Bourne Legacy. The writer/director expands the Bourne universe created by Robert Ludlum with an original story that introduces us to a new hero (Jeremy Renner) whose life-or-death stakes have been triggered by the events of the first three films.

For The Bourne Legacy, Renner joins fellow series newcomers Rachel Weisz, Edward Norton, Stacy Keach and Oscar Isaac, while franchise veterans Albert Finney, Joan Allen, David Strathairn and Scott Glenn reprise their roles.

Director Paul Greengrass and star Matt Damon are attached to the new film.

The Bourne Legacy Movie Review-(2.5) "Bourne Bourders on Bourdom."

Tony Gilroy seems like the perfect choice. If anyone were to helm another Bourne film, without Paul Greengrass being a choice, this would be your guy. Having written the first three screenplays in the franchise, Gilroy knows the workings of what makes this story's world so entertaining. He's fully in charge for The Bourne Legacy, so even if it didn't match the high standard of its predecessors, I was sure it would still be a fun, engaging action picture. As I write this, I'm still not sure how it all went so wrong.

To start with, the film seems to be forcing a connection with the earlier trilogy. Instead of building a premise that really relates the film to the previous entries, we get numerous montages and lengthy conversations that try to solidify the film's connection with the Jason Bourne/Treadstone storyline. The number thrown around is nine: nine "Bournes", so to speak. One of them is Aaron Cross (Jeremy Renner). The CIA decides to shut down their Outcome agents. Cross escapes termination and ends up on the run.

Along the way, he meets up with scientist (Rachel Weisz) who works to build the medication that all of the field agents take daily. Cross takes her under his wing so he can somehow get the pills that he desperately needs. Here we encounter another problem: Pills. That's pretty much what the movie is all about. Cross NEEDS his pills. I was almost offended at how silly that premise was. To come from films that were all about the interesting psyche of Jason Bourne and his memory loss, to get a sequel/spinoff about blue and green pills is lame, to say the least.

Jeremy Renner could have been given so much more. He is capable of pulling off a character as interesting as Jason Bourne, but instead, he's reduced to a role that isn't interesting at all. It's frustrating because there are scenes, like when he and Weisz talk for the first time in his car, where his acting really stands out. He can deliver a strong lead performance! But the screenplay doesn't offer a strong lead character. 

Weisz is given bit more to do, but her character just seems like a plot device, moving the characters along at just the right times. I could mention all of the cast members and say the exact same thing. They all perform well in their roles, but their roles are all cookie-cutter and bland. The original three films were filled with fantastic characters and an engaging storyline. With this new film, I figured if got only one of those things, I'd be happy. I got neither.

The film isn't all bad. In fact, even though the story is embarrassingly silly, I was intrigued throughout. That's where Tony Gilroy shines the most in this film. He can make dialogue interesting. And trust me, there is a LOT of dialogue (more on that later). Also, the shaky-cam that Greengrass overused in his films is put to the minimum here. The action is more comprehensible and the quiet conversations aren't, well, nauseating. 

But my positive notes end there, as I get to perhaps the most irritating problem with this film. There is hardly any action at all. There is one big action scene at the end, but to get there we endure close to two hours of conversations, mini surveillance chases, and a couple of moments for Renner to flex his muscles and show off his mind skills. As I said earlier, Gilroy makes dialogue work to his advantage, but there is WAY too much of what started as a good thing here. This isn't a Quentin Tarantino film. Ease up on the yammering. 

By the end, I was bored. There's enough to make the film watchable, but not nearly enough to make it compelling or engaging. When the film ends, I felt like it stopped midreel. Things weren't wrapped up, and the film acted like they were. The rushed ending, though, was the least of my concerns. This is a forgettable entry in a franchise with lots of potential. I hope the film makes enough money to warrant a fifth film, because there are better things to be done with this world. Maybe not with this set of characters, however.
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