Friday, July 29, 2016

Movie Review: "The Bourne Legacy" (2012)

Image Source
Movie: "The Bourne Legacy"
Director: Tony Gilroy
Year: 2012
Rating: PG-13
Running Time: 2 hours, 15 minutes

Due to the incident with Jason Bourne and the possible fallout from Treadstone and Blackbriar, CIA Black Ops officials believe their own program Outcome may come under fire. Outcome operators decide to cancel the program and terminate anyone and everyone involved before this happens. Unfortunately, they didn't count on Aaron Cross (Jeremy Renner) surviving and fighting back. 

Directed by Tony Gilroy, "The Bourne Legacy" is the first and now only Bourne movie that does not star Matt Damon. It also doesn't feature Jason Bourne as a principle character. He is mentioned by name only and his picture is shown from time to time, but the character himself never actually appears on screen. Instead, the protagonist here is Aaron Cross, played by Jeremy Renner, a Black Ops assassin much like Bourne, though he operates under the Outcome program, not Treadstone. The events in this film partially run congruently with "The Bourne Ultimatum," and it's Bourne's actions in that installment which set off a chain of events causing those in charge of the Outcome program to want to end operations. Admiral Mark Turso, played by Stacy Keach, and Colonel Eric Byer, played by Edward Norton, have to clean house and kill anyone and everyone who knows the program, anyone who was involved in it directly or may have any knowledge of it, no matter how big or how small. Once Outcome's attempt to kill Aaron Cross fails, he goes rogue, not on a quest for answers like Jason Bourne, but on a quest for pills the agents in the Outcome program take in order to sustain and enhance their physical and mental abilities. Going off of these pills would mean Cross would be weaker and more stupid, and they would also come with some wicked bad withdrawals. Cross seeks out Marta Shearing, played by Rachel Weisz, one of the doctors who would often administer his pills for him. As a member of Outcome, she too has been targeted for termination, so Cross helps Shearing survive in order to get his next fix before his withdrawals begin.

Oh boy, where do we start? You would think with this high level cast of very capable actors operating in such a strong franchise that "The Bourne Legacy" would be at least a decent, somewhat entertaining movie. Unfortunately, it's not. Not even close. Though the acting isn't bad by any stretch of the imagination, the story is dreadful. In some ways, it feels like there is a lot going on with all of the Black Ops organizations like Treadstone, Blackbriar, Outcome, and Larx being name-dropped in play, but these names and organizations merely provide the outlet for our characters to spew out a steady stream of spy and technological jargon with little to no point other than to make the movie sound smarter than it really is. Phrases like "viral out" and "neural network" and "forestry satellite" and "comms link" and "foreign platforms" are thrown around over and over as the filmmakers hope they stick. The other three films in the Bourne franchise did this as well, but most of the time, this jargon and verbiage fit within the context of those very thrilling, very suspenseful, very well made movies. When you strip away all of these unnecessary words, what "Legacy" feels like is a movie that boils down to a super-enhanced drug addict doing everything he can to get his next fix, preferably with the possibility of a permanent one.

All of the action here, all of the car and foot chases, Jeremy Renner traipsing through the open, snowy wilderness getting Oscar Isaac killed is not to stop the program or bring down those responsible for everything up to this film and including the termination of all of the other Outcome agents, but rather to get his grubby little mitts on these meds, or 'chems' as they call them extremely frequently. This action, be it by foot, by car, featuring a helicopter, on a mountain, is always extraordinarily underwhelming, and we found it hard to care about Cross, his plight, his impending doom without his precious chems, or anything else! What goes on in between the action is such a poorly paced, boring and uninteresting drudgery that we found it hard to give a hoot about anything related to the events in this film. When the end credits started rolling, BigJ and I looked at each other and said, "is that it?!," not because we were disappointed it was over, but because the ending, the long, tedious, dull moments that got us there led to such an unsatisfying conclusion, as if we just sat through all of this nonsense only to glean absolutely nothing from this added installment to the Bourne series. Nothing gets accomplished in what feels an origin story made in the hopes of setting up future installments with the Aaron Cross character. Thank god those future installments will never see the light of day.

If you need a glaring, obvious example of why a trilogy should just stay a trilogy, look no further than "The Bourne Legacy." Sure, the Bourne series has always been an overly macho, gun-and-thrill-fest, but damn if we don't enjoy it. The previous three installments are high quality action films for the most part. But "The Bourne Legacy"? It spits in the face of the franchise and is a massive letdown. Compared to most action movies, this is a dud, and compared to the Bourne series, it's even worse. All we can do is hope director Paul Greengrass and Matt Damon are able to return this series to its former glory in "Jason Bourne," which comes out on July 29th, 2016.

My Rating: 4/10
BigJ's Rating: 4/10
IMDB's Rating: 6.7/10
Rotten Tomatoes Rating: 56%
Do we recommend this movie: No.

No comments:

Post a Comment