The Bourne Legacy tries to grant its audience the same sensational action-movie experience the first three Bourne films did. However, as the fourth instalment of what has now most definitely turned into the Bourne franchise it lacks the presence of Jason Bourne (Matt Damon) and director Paul Greengrass. Instead, the film is directed by Tony Gilroy, the man behind the scripts of the previous Bourne films, and features Jeremy Renner as its protagonist. As a typical sequel, The Bourne Legacy reveals that there is much more to the initial Treadstone project and there are other similar programmes.

This film’s plot is closely related to that of The Bourne Ultimatum and familiar characters as Pam Landy (Joan Allen), Ezra Kramer (Scott Glen) and Simon Ross (Paddy Considine) pop up as if trying to confirm the authenticity of The Bourne Legacy. According to the new storyline, Aaron Cross (Jeremy Renner) is part of the Outcome programme where a group of agents have been pumped up with various medications to turn them into super-strong, hyper-intelligent soldiers. When the government starts shutting down all such programmes, he sets off to get his hands on as many pills as he can because, as Dr Martha Shearing (Rachel Weisz) reveals,  he is still dependent on the psychological stimulation provided by blue pills.

…the film fails to present its plot in the fast-paced style traditional to the previous films…

Jeremy Renner as Aaron Cross actually makes for an interesting protagonist, whose rugged appearance and toughness are believable. His background as an Iraqi soldier is supplied briefly but is enough for the audience to claim to know something about him. Meanwhile, Weisz’s character is also promising as Dr Shearing, who potentially knows the answers to all the questions. Unfortunately, all she does is deliver long speeches full of scientific terms (blues, greens, yellows, chems, viralling out), which are not fully explained, and finally ends up in the back of a motorcycle holding onto Renner. The rest of the characters, like Eric Bryer (Edward Norton, who has taken Joan Allen’s place as the person in charge), are similarly interesting and are designed to fit the Bourne universe.

Overall, the idea of a group of agents, who have been artificially designed to be the most intelligent fighting machines ever, will appeal to contemporary audiences. However, the film fails to present its plot in the fast-paced style traditional to the previous films because it takes a while to present its characters before getting to the point where all the action starts. After that, it just lacks rhythm and turns to the simple explanation about Cross’s dependency on blue pills given by Dr Shearing. Everything is made easy for the characters as the film chooses to simplify the plot and skip the complicated scientific explanations.

It looks like the filmmakers had all the right tools but didn’t use them right. The result is a scattered plot-line, which may leave the audience confused but not by the quick mind-blowing action sequences. Legacy is not as exciting and lacks the drive, determination and wholesomeness, which made the first three films such great action movies.

2 Stars



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