‘Bourne Legacy’ Fails to Live Up to Predecessors

The fourth installment in the Jason Bourne franchise has its moments, but fails to live up to the standard set by previous films.


The latest installment in the hugely successful Bourne franchise stars Jeremy Renner (Hawkeye from “The Avengers”) as Aaron Cross, who, like Jason Bourne (played by Matt Damon in the ‘The Bourne Identity,’ ‘The Bourne Supremacy’ and ‘The Bourne Ultimatum’), is on the run from the people who made him into the superspy he is.

If the plot sounds familiar, it is. And that, wrote Joan Alperin Schwartz of Starpulse.com, is where the problem lies.

“You've seen this same plot before...many, many times before,” Schwartz wrote.

Schwartz faulted the movie for its lack of character development and flat ending, but admitted the film had some exciting moments.

“There are plenty of car chases, fight scenes, gun battles and crazy stunts involving leaping and jumping, but in the end ‘The Bourne Legacy’ lacks originality,” Schwartz wrote.

According to Ty Burr of The Boston Globe, the movie's exciting moments are not enough to compensate for the failure of the ending.

“A new-model government super-assassin (Louis Ozawa Changchien) is abruptly introduced to chase down the heroes, and the film suddenly turns into ‘Terminator 2.’ [Ed] Norton’s character drops down the rabbit hole, Joan Allen and David Strathairn from the earlier movies suddenly reappear, and ‘The Bourne Legacy’ folds its hand with a limp romantic fade-out and a cheesy pop song,” Burr wrote.

Here’s what other critics had to say about “The Bourne Legacy”:

“Detracting from the thrills of the latest of the action-adventure quartet are the complexity of plot, the inability of [director Tony] Gilroy to get us into the mind of the principal performer, and the absence of Matt Damon who brought in solid box office returns in the three films that preceded this one.” – Harvey Karten of Shockya.com 
“Last week we had a very good example of a remake with 'Total Recall.' This week we have a very poor example of a reboot with 'The Bourne Legacy.' This attempt to start the franchise over with a new character is chaotic, confusing and reminds one of what a drug addict may go through during withdraw. Even if you have seen the previous 'Bourne' films if they are not fresh in your memory you may be completely lost during much of this latest installment.” – Tom Clocker of  Examiner.com
“The film does endeavour to expand the mythology of the series, but in building out rather than pushing forward, it fails to fully engage as an absorbing story in its own right.” - Chris Tilly of IGN

Based on the series of espionage books by Robert Ludlum, “The Bourne Legacy” also stars Rachel Weisz (“The Mummy”), Edward Norton (“The Incredible Hulk”) and franchise veterans Scott Glenn, Albert Finney and Joan Allen.

The movie is rated PG-13 for violence and intense action sequences. It's showing at Beechwood Stadium Cinemas and at Carmike.

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Gary Weiss August 12, 2012 at 11:01 AM
The best of the Bourne movies, Renner is excellent, and a rising star, this movie earns 5 bagels (*****) G.Weiss
Lynn Hubbard August 12, 2012 at 05:20 PM
Not sure why they had to add another leg to the series. In the book "The Bourne Legacy" Jason's son is introduced, whom is also an assassin. Not sure why they didn't build on that plot. I love all the Bourne movies and will see this one soon.
Rebecca McCarthy August 12, 2012 at 05:28 PM
I like them, too, but have to get into the right mood....
Gary Weiss August 13, 2012 at 08:57 AM
The story is clear from the begining, and captivates the audience right away, Renner is a fresh face, and easy to like, and looks more likeable than his predesesor, his performence is smoother and promises a great future, the movie subject is close to reality, as the US is involved in all kinds of research in the manipulation of genes and betterment of the performance of the human body and the quest to improove the fisical performance of its soldier and operatives, the handlers of this unauthorized tesearch, tries to shut down a failing and eliminate all evidence of the program that was not aprooved by congress, and is on action to eliminate all evidence, Bourne is the last loose loose end that survives... and will be back in the future, Renner is the only surviver, and is a great fit into the Bourne action films, he will be back soon... and will take us on another adventure, we love him in all his movies, he is another rising star. Gary Weiss
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