Film: The Bourne Legacy
Director: Tony Gilroy
Five years have past since we last cared about the name Jason Bourne, but Universal Pictures is looking to change that this weekend with the release of The Bourne Legacy. I plan to write at least a couple hundred words about the film in the following paragraphs, but if you’re feeling too lazy to read that much just note that choosing literally any other film at the box office this weekend (except Total Recall) is far more likely to result in you being entertained than this two-hour(+) waste of talent.
Jeremy Renner steps into the spot left by an uninterested Matt Damon to star in the latest Bourne installment, which picks up a few months after the government has lost track of Jason Bourne. Due to fear that Bourne may be planning to expose their secret super soldier program, the government decides to shutdown the entire project by killing everyone involved in the drug testing process (ie, all the agents like Bourne). Through means I won’t reveal at this time, Cross manages to escape the government’s death pursuit and sets off in search of a way to replenish the drug that gives him an edge (which is now unavailable). This leads him to cross paths with an attractive young doctor (Rachel Weisz), piss off a lot of people, get involved in an epic car chase, and see the world from many exotic points of view. All in all, action 101 with a gloss of new age thinking.
Here’s the problem: It takes about 70 minutes too long for all of the above to happen. The Bourne Legacy may be the best example of wasting great talent that 2012 has seen, and I might include all of 2011 in there as well. Renner is phenomenal, as is Norton and Weisz, but not a soul has anything interesting to say or do throughout the course of the entire film. Hell, the two opposing main characters never actually interact! It’s a series of vignettes meant to create a web of a story that only succeeds in making the little does occur difficult to follow, and even if you do follow it won’t matter because they’ll still be introducing ideas and characters well into the third act.
The Bourne Legacy is a film that was never supposed to be made, but somehow was greenlit and pushed through the rigors of production even though the original source material, director, and leads were nowhere to be found. To say it’s an exhaustingly boring attempt and capitalizing on aging fandom would be an understatement, but at least it gives you a rough idea of what I felt while this film played like a death march before me.
Avoid The Bourne Legacy. If you miss the series that much, I suggest taking the $35 you would have spent at the cinema and investing in a blu ray set of the original trilogy.
Written by: James Shotwell