The Bourne Legacy

Right now Hollywood is looking for movies they can franchise.  That is, they can make as many sequels as they can and drag out their popularity or trendiness for as long as possible.  No more is that more apparent now than the Pirates of the Caribbean films (yes there are more of those on the way) and anything that’s based on Marvel comic book heroes.  Don’t get me wrong, The Avengers was great and there’s a sequel to that on the way.  But do we really need on top of that a Thor 2, Captain America 2, and Iron Man 3???

Very rarely does a movie come along that essentially became a franchise by “accident.”  Based on the Robert Ludlam novels, Jason Bourne has become a character of a rogue government agent with total amnesia immortalized by Matt Damon.  The first three films were also adapted by Tony Gilroy who creates a complex web consisting of government black lists, double agents, traitors, and assassins so effortlessly.  But this time Gilroy has taken the reigns as the director for the first time in the fourth installment of the Bourne series and I gotta say, I was very pleasantly surprised.  But there’s a twist that anyone whose seen any of the previous films will immediately notice, no Jason Bourne.  We follow the story of Aaron Cross, a fairly new agent who is chemically enhanced and without amnesia (unlike Bourne) and introduced to us while completing a training exercise in the Alaskan wilderness.  The movie’s timeline begins in the middle of The Bourne Ultimatum (the third film) and continues on a little bit passed it.

While the white-collar spies are still trying to clean up their mess of failed black ops programs “Treadstone” and “Blackbriar” that Bourne and idealist agent Pam Landy are trying to expose, Cross is caught in the middle and as well all know, the way super spies tie up loose ends is to leave no survivors.

Although completely different characters, I enjoy Damon over Renner.  However Rachel Weisz BLEW ME AWAY as the scientist who formulates the medication that keeps Cross physically and mentally superior over the competition.  She truly did an amazing job.  There are two scenes in particular in the movie (both of which she is in) that really surprised me in every which way.  And it was when you could tell that it was a different director at the helm.  The first was actually hard to watch… It was a shooting spree from one of her fellow scientists in the lab and the other was when she was questioned by the CIA shrink in her home afterward.

Another newcomer to the Bourne franchise is Edward Norton who plays Eric Byer–the spy trying to cover up the cover up.  Norton as always has this presence as an actor that makes him truly one of the best chameleons in Hollywood (second I think only to Gary Oldman.)

Although certainly different from its three predecessors  “The Bourne Legacy” is a tightly-wound spy thriller with amazing action scenes, amazing locales, SPECTACULAR editing, but an unsatisfying and sudden ending.

I hear that Damon will return and team up with Renner in a fifth Bourne installment… but that might just be another cover up. 

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