The events in this movie take place around the same time as the events in The Bourne Ultimatum (2007). When a British reporter was writing an expose about Black Ops operations Treadstone and Black Briar, and the ones responsible for them are concerned. And when Jason Bourne, former Treadstone operative got the file on Treadstone and Black Briar and gave it to Pamela Landy who then passed it to the media. When the men behind Treadstone and Black Briar learn of this, they're concerned how this will affect other ops they have. They decide it's best to shut down all ops and make sure make everyone involved disappears. They try to take out Aaron Cross who is part of another op called Outcome, but he manages to survive. He then seeks out Dr. Marta Shearing who worked on him when he began. It seems part of the program is for all subjects to take medications but he has run out, which is why he seeks her. But someone tries to kill her. He saves her and she tells him, he should have stopped ... Written by
Wonderful performance by Renner and Weisz, despite the lack of a coherent storyline and a poorly written script.
The Bourne Legacy is the fourth installment of the Bourne franchise and evolves around a new main protagonist, Aaron Cross. The story runs parallel with the end of the third Bourne movie, and concerns itself with the result of Jason Bourne's exposure of the Blackbriar program.
"Outcome", another government program, is trying to cover up themselves by eliminating their agents in order to not get pulled down by the coming scandal set in motion by Jason Bourne's actions. Outcome is an affiliate of Blackbriar and Treadstone, with one significant difference however. Their agents are chemically enhanced to be quicker, stronger and smarter, by ingesting a set of pills. This is where we meet Aaron Cross. Being hunted by his own agency, while trying to get the pills he so desperately need.
What makes this movie watchable is NOTHING but the performance of the lead actors, Jeremy Renner and Rachel Weisz. Both talented actors with great depth and experience. It is obvious that they are struggling to tap into the emotional vein of their characters, and the script taken into consideration, it is not strange. Despite this, Renner and Weisz manage to pull it off beautifully. This is no doubt due to the undeniable chemistry between the two. Weisz's sensitive and innocent character fits together beautifully with Renner's stoic, cold, and very charming character. Weisz in particular brings some much needed sensitivity to the movie, which otherwise would have been pretty boring to watch. She becomes Cross's object of protection, and it is because of her we even care about his attempt to find safety from his assailants. Without her, this would have been a movie about a man trying to find medicine. In short I have nothing but respect for these two people, and they do a wonderful job despite what would have otherwise been an insult to the series and the genre in general.
Regrettably Edward Norton's character as Eric Byer, the "bad guy" hunting for Aaron Cross seems spineless and unnecessary compared to the other two. This makes him annoying and superficial when he's on, and you can't help but get the feeling that he shouldn't be there. Compared to Chris Cooper's mysterious and secretive character as Conklin, the head of Treadstone from The Bourne Identity, Norton seems even more spineless and unnecessary.This is once again more of a critique of the script than of Edward Norton as an actor, since we know (from for example American History X and Fight Club) that Edward Norton can really act.
This is the kind of movie, where they show every single action sequence in the trailer. As you start watching the movie, you're wondering when it's ACTUALLY gonna start, and when it does start you're wondering what it's actually about. It's very hard to keep track of, and it seems to want to be two things at the same time. It is impossible to watch it without forgetting what you saw in the last three films, because it is so far from the original ones. It is like you are in a completely different universe, and it lacks the charm, mystique and wit that makes a "real" Bourne movie. Paul Greengrass managed to be innovative without compromising the dark, mysterious, kind-of-charming feel of the first movie. For whatever reason, Tony Gilroy has not. The Bourne Legacy is so far from the other three movies that it is hard to believe it's in the same "universe". At the same time it is impossible to understand the plot without keeping track of what happened in the original ones. That way it's trying to be two very different things, and ends up worming itself into a strange borderland between "Knight And Day" and "Quantum Of Solace" which leaves you puzzled to its existence, and unconvinced to its plot.
The movie does have some pretty decent action sequences with great effects, but lacks the storyline, motivation, drive and intimacy to justify them. They're redundant.
Towards the end of the two and a half hour ordeal that this movie really is, you find yourself not really caring anymore and just want it to end decently. And then the air goes out of the balloon with a poof. Out of nowhere the movie ends, with no conclusion, no explanation and no reason whatsoever for it to exist. You're left with a lot more questions than answers, and feel unsatisfied with what you've just seen.
Perhaps it was due to my high expectations that I couldn't enjoy this movie as much as I wanted, but I feel like i've seen enough to know what makes a great movie and distinguish between a good and a bad scripts. It's a real shame, because Jeremy Renner, Rachel Weisz and Edward Norton are three of my favorite actors and I think they could have worked miracles with the right script.
In short, I have nothing but respect for the actors but don't feel like this is worthy of being called a Bourne movie.
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