Review: The Bourne Legacy
“The Bourne Legacy” is a serviceable if completely unnecessary sequel to the highly successful series. Because of the fact that this is a movie without Matt Damon as Jason Bourne, efforts were made to make it interesting without undermining any of the previous movies. In this regard, it is a success. However, the ceiling for greatness is also only so high when you’re making the equivalent to a full length spin-off.
I actually really enjoyed Jeremy Renner’s work here, creating a character that is familiar enough to Jason Bourne to exist in the same universe, but unique enough to be his own man. He’s building up a reputation as a decent action star. He doesn’t completely carry a film on his own, but can be a nice addition to a cast. I was surprised to see Edward Norton appear (I didn’t check the cast list first), and as always he brings a lot of presence to the screen. Rachel Weisz is here as the love interest, but she’s really nothing more than a rehash of the other Bourne girls.
The rest of the production is competent if unspectacular. I felt the feel was similar to the other entries and a good amount of suspense was derived from the material, especially an excellent scene inside a locked science lab. The action scenes were actually pretty good, avoiding some of the things I often complain about, neither going on too long or featuring too unbelievable of stunts.
Really the only knock on this movie is again the fact that it’s unnecessary. The writers did what they could to come up with a story that exists because of implications of the previous plots, but this one doesn’t do much to add to the mythology of the series.or make itself essential viewing. Think of it like an episode of a television show you enjoy, but one that doesn’t absolutely need to be seen to keep going with the series.
To anyone that enjoyed the Bourne series thus far, or spy/action thrillers in general, “The Bourne Legacy” should be a worthwhile viewing if expectations are kept in check. I’d recommend to give it a chance. After all, giving us a more low-key stand alone adventure is certainly better than overreaching and damaging the state of the entire series. If the series must continue, I’m still on board for more.