What is a Bourne series without Matt Damon at the helm as Jason Bourne? Well, it's a Bourne Legacy. In a true and somewhat weird sense. The fourth film in the Bourne series features Jeremy Renner, not Matt Damon, as, well, not Jason Bourne, but as Aaron Cross. Yeah, I know, it's confusing. I was confused at first and didn't really catch on until probably the fourth time I had seen the trailer and the lightbulb just went 'ding!' in my head. So basically the legacy of Bourne continues with Aaron Cross and as the movie teases, "There Was Never Just One." Gooooooooot it.
Official Release Date: August 10th, 2012 (wide release)
Without giving much way to spoilers of the movie, the movie opens up with Aaron Cross training in the cold weather of Alaska, ensuring that his body is capable of enduring such harsh and extreme weather. The film then cuts to a scene taken from the second film and additional footage to extend said scene is shown. The scene? It's of reporter Simon Ross, who is about to expose the CIA programs - Operation Treadstone and Blackbriar. The film then continues to display a montage of different scenes that can be quite confusing to the viewer.
When I first watched the film, I was a bit confused by all the different scenes that were playing out in front of me as the screen continually switched to different locations. Stop giving me headaches! It wasn't until a little while in that I realized that the move was taking place around the end of the events from the third movie - basically, while the events from Bourne Ultimatum were taking place, the events from Bourne Legacy were also unfolding. Talk about a little bit of an Inception here and yes, it means that you should probably watch the third movie at least to gain an understanding of what is going on (though truth be told, I haven't really watched the first film and I've seen bits and pieces of the second film, but watched the third film, so I am pretty much caught up).
I was initially hesitant about watching The Bourne Legacy. After all, I was one of those people that thought, How can it be a Bourne movie without Matt Damon? And really, it was. Jeremy Renner is a fine actor and he does do a terrific job in the movie in trying not to be Bourne, but also trying to be Bourne. But it's not just the same. After all, Bourne Legacy is kinda like a sequel, yet more reboot/spin-off at the same time and the film tries so desperately hard to be like its predecessors. It's basically about an agent who is on the run from the very agency that housed him. In the same vein, Aaron Cross and Jason Bourne must eliminate those who are sent after them to eliminate them because either something's gone wrong with the program or there was a botched job in the process. Yeah, just didn't cut it for me. Should I also mention the ending? Can there be a sequel like that? Or what? It was just...weird. Weird in the sense that it just, well, ended (can't give away too much now).
However, the film did do well in the humor department and I did catch myself laughing to parts of the movie that perhaps weren't intended to be humorous but the packed movie crowd found funny. That indeed is a redeeming feature of a movie that tries too hard to be like its predecessors, but at least this time, the cameras didn't give me much of a headache. I liked it, but it was an okay movie with hardly much of a story. 'Tis all. I suppose you can watch the movie because of Jeremy Renner, then marvel afterwards that he's 41 years old and somewhat doesn't look it (what's with the main Bourne actors being in their late 30s/early 40s?), but does wonderfully on the whole ninja/action part. Oh and Rachel Weisz, she did do a fantastic job of a woman who got landed in a situation where people are trying to take her out and she didn't really panic. Bonus points!
Overall Rating: 3/5 stars