By Scott Peterson
The Bourne Letdown
While watching The Bourne Legacy, I tried to temper my expectations and remind myself that I wasn’t viewing a continuation of the cash cow that was the Jason Bourne trilogy. Instead I was viewing a spin-off that could and should work on its own and as a complimentary piece to it’s bigger brother. The problem with The Bourne Legacy is that it did not do either.
The film takes place simultaneously with The Bourne Ultimatum and opens with a never seen on-screen, Jason Bourne on the run in New York City. With Bourne threatening to expose the debauched side of the CIA, a team of agents led by the retired Col. Eric Byer (an underused Edward Norton) are ordered to obliterate everything in connection with Mr. Bourne.
Enter Aaron Cross (Jeremy Renner) an “off the grid” super agent that has been busy warding off wolves and jumping off cliffs in the Alaskan mountains. Cross narrowly escapes one assassination attempt after another and ends up in New York City with a stash of cash and a slew of new identities.
What ensues is something between Flowers for Algernon and The Fugitive. Cross is running out of the medication that makes him astute and unyielding. Normally this wouldn’t be a problem, but the lab where the meds are produced has been shut down after a gun toting doctor goes on a murderous rampage with only one doctor (Rachel Weisz) surviving. Naturally, Cross must find the doctor and more importantly, find more pills. Yes, you read that correctly. Our new hero is a pill popper.
Renner does a great job of trying to make us forget about the iconic Matt Damon character. Yes the challenge is daunting, but he is more than up for the task. He is not the problem. With a run time of 2 hrs and 15 minutes, The Bourne Legacy is about 30 minutes too long. In between the moments of sheer,unbridled yawning, there are 2 or 3 action sequences we’ve seen done bigger and better in the previous Bourne films. Combine that with a plot that is offensively absurd and you have the recipe for yet another Hollywood cash grab that isn’t worth your dough. Sometimes you just can’t be Bourne again.
Final Word – 1 ½ stars