Wednesday, August 15, 2012

The Bourne Legacy Review

The Bourne trilogy in my opinion is one of the better trilogies ever made. Jason Bourne is so totally boss and Matt Damon will be forever a legend in my eyes because of his portrayal of Bourne. Also added to that is that the story line that arches over the three movies is very intriguing. And it is a complete story. As in it ends perfectly. So why do a fourth movie? Well, easy. The Bourne movies are based of the Bourne books and there aren't just three books. There are ten. However, the first three were written by Robert Ludlum and those three are deemed the Bourne trilogy. Then what happened is that Robert Ludlum died in 2001 and when that happened Eric Van Lustbader continued the series and since 2002 has written seven additional Bourne novels. Now I have not read any of the books, but from what I hear, the original three are better than other ones. So with that in mind, Hollywood sees that there are 10 books and decides that it is a good idea to make more than just three movies. The funny thing is that while The Bourne Legacy is the title of the fourth book, the fourth movie is not remotely based off of the book. The only similarity is that they share a name. The fourth movie doesn't even have the character Jason Bourne in it. Now that wasn't the original intentions I don't think, but when Paul Greengrass, the director of Supremacy and Ultimatum, decided he didn't want to continue, Matt Damon decided not to as well and so they decided to go a completely new direction. Now Legacy is not a remake or reboot by any means, rather it is a spin-off with completely different characters for the most part. I compare this project to the fourth Pirates of the Carribbean. The fourth one of that is the beginning of a new Pirates trilogy separate from the first trilogy, but also not a reboot.

With all of that intro out of the way, I have to admit that I was extremely nervous about this movie. I thought that it would be a good idea to leave it at Ultimatum and not do more. I was sure that without Matt Damon or Jason Bourne this movie would be terrible. However, I had a change of heart in May. After being blown away by Jeremy Renner's portrayal of Hawkeye in the Avengers, I suddenly became excited about Legacy because it was Renner that would be the main role. Now after seeing it, what do I think? Well, it was a slight disappointment for sure. A step down from the first three Bourne movies, but at the same time it wasn't a terrible movie. It gets a pass in my book.

The tagline of the movie is 'there was never just one'. They shoved that down our throats in the trailers and advertisements for it to try and justify to all of us why they are doing a sequel. It worked enough to get me excited. Here's the deal though. It felt like they were shoving that down my throat the whole movie as well and it frustrated me a bit. Don't spend the whole movie justifying another sequel. Just make a good sequel with a good story line and that will justify the movie to the audience. But alas they didn't follow that last piece of advice and thus the story line of the movie was just weird, messy, and forced. I mean we start out in Alaska. Then we jump to Virginia. Back and forth between that and Alaska for a while before we decide to throw in a flashback and suddenly Renner has made it to Virginia. Then we are Chicago. But before that we had to flash to Korea and Pakistan for a few moments. Now suddenly we are off to the Philippians. Add to that, our main characters are suddenly on the chopping block wanting to get killed by a bunch of people.

It seemed like this nonsensical story line continued on for the whole first half of the movie, with only a few brief periods of awesomeness with Renner. Then in the last half of the movie, the ball finally got rolling and despite me still wondering why we are doing what we are doing, the movie started to become awesome and fun to watch. This last half of the movie felt like a true Bourne film to me. And man Jeremy Renner as Aaron Cross was so totally awesome. Not quite as boss as the legendary Jason Bourne, but still very boss. And the lead female that was running with him was also fantastic. She of course was Rachel Weisz playing Dr Marta Shearing. Not only were they great in the action / chase scenes, but the acting was superb. Especially when Aaron was trying to convince her to help him out with the issue he was trying to get solved. The ending was satisfactory and left you wanting more from Renner and Weisz. Which knowing Hollywood, we will probably will get.

Overall, if I were to award number grades to the first three Bourne movies, they would all get either an 8, a 9, or something in between. Like I have been saying, Legacy isn't quite to their level, but it is still an enjoyable movie. I give it a 7 out of 10. And that's pretty generous. If you are a Bourne fan, my recommendation to you is to give it a shot, if for nothing else to watch Jeremy Renner be awesome.

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