We all know the drill with the Bourne films: frenetic chases and elaborate, utterly implausible action allwrapped in a thin veil of grim, LeCaresque intrigue.
The latest addition to the franchise, The Bourne Legacy sticks to the formula but not before a ponderous prologue full of confusing waffle about Treadstone, Black friars, Larx and biochemical experiments. Eventually it emerges that Jason Bourne is about to blow the lid on all the covert operations with which he and his fellow super assassins were involved. To avoid answering tricky questions about all these chemically enhanced killers, Treadstone boss Edward Norton decides to clean house and liquidate every agent. Despite designing the programme and training the operatives Norton’s team of course have no idea how to take out one rogue agent Aaron Cross (Jeremy Renner), who manages to outwit and outfight the entire organisation.
The plot becomes background noise as Cross much like Russell Crow in South Park fights his way around the world eventually winding up in Manilla for the big parkour, car chase, bash the Christ out of innocent security guards sequences.
Directed by Tony Gilroy who wrote the script for the other Bourne films, Legacy isn’t quite as manic and plagued by wobble cam as the other movies although the fight scenes are still so incomprehensible it could be Lady Ga Ga doing battle for all we know.
Renner has some acting cred but usually playing dislikeable creeps and that history combined with his character’s very limited emotional range makes it hard to warm to him as a hero even a tortured one. Matt Damon,who doesn’t actually appear in this film but is constantly referred to, seemed a more complex and human character than Cross. The film benefits from the presence of Rachel Weisz as a biochemist who’s forced to go on the run with Cross when Treadstone targets her.
While it’s a step down from the previous Bourne films, Legacy is still an effectively edgy action film as long as you discount all laws of physics and human endurance.
Nick’s rating: 3 stars.
Director(s): Tony Gilroy.
Release date: 9th August 2012
Running time: 2hrs 15mins.
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- Film review: ALEX CROSS, from Built For Speed
- Film review: CAPTAIN AMERICA: CIVIL WAR, from ‘Built For Speed’
- Film review: WARCRAFT: THE BEGINNING, from ‘Built For Speed’