By: Joyce Alexander
Guaranteed to pique the interest of the loyal Bourne fans, this installment to the Bourne series will disappoint audiences who are looking for a repeat of the rock solid action of the first three Bourne films. The Bourne Legacy lacks the constant heart pumping action that can be found in the previous versions of this story. Written and directed by Tony Gilroy The Bourne Legacy can only be called a lukewarm thriller. While the film has a couple of interesting car chase scenes, the contrived story and lack-luster acting undercut the film.
Legacy takes an unusual approach that is bound to get Bourne fans back in the theater. It is not a sequel or even a prequel. It is an installment of the movie series that takes place at the same time as the events in ‘The Bourne Ultimatum’. In Legacy, Jason Bourne is front-page news. Pamela Landy and other officials are talking in Congressional hearings. Some officials have even been taken away in handcuffs. Meanwhile another similar project, called “Outcome”, is scrambling to cover-up their illicit shenanigans. No one wants to have the same sort of public exposure as Treadstone and Operation Blackbriar. So, the cover-up begins.
This film attempts to add another layer onto the Bourne saga. By constantly referring to events that are “happening” at the same time but in other parts of the world, such as the killing of Guardian correspondent Simon Ross in the London train station and the congressional hearings where Pam Landy is testifying – Legacy is able to piggy-back on the successful storytelling of the previous films. This is a clever idea however the rest of the story does not hold up on its own. It uses the other Bourne stories as a crutch. This is especially disappointing because the Director and writer of this film, Tony Gilroy, also wrote the screenplay for two of the previous Bourne movies.
Aaron Cross played by Jeremy Renner, is a genetically enhanced version of Jason Bourne. He is the by-product of a public-private sector partnership between the CIA and a multi-national bioengineering company named Sterisyn-Morlanta. This company has incredible surveillance capabilities that make it possible for them to quickly sift through staggering amounts of up-to-the-minute video data from almost every corner of the world. Throughout the film they use these resources to chase after Cross and Doctor Marta Shearing, played by Rachel Weisz.
In the original films Jason Bourne is a relatable hero because he struggles with age-old questions arising from his search for identity. He asks imponderable questions like, “Who am I”. In Legacy, Aaron Cross does not seek the answer to any universal questions. He simply asks, “Where are the drugs.” That’s right. This generation of special agent is dependent on drugs. Our hero wants to renew his drug supply. It is kind of hard to sympathize with a hero who is looking for a fix. Aaron Cross is not Jason Bourne and this film is not as good as its predecessors. While we grow to like Jason Bourne because he is a reluctant warrior fighting to regain his humanity; it is a lot harder to feel the same about Aaron Cross.