The Bourne Legacy

Rated PG-13 135 min. 2012

The Bourne Legacy (PG-13) Despite a few missteps, The Bourne Legacy — which attempts to reinvigorate the series sans star Matt Damon — fits nicely into the existing cinematic universe of its predecessors. While director Paul Greengrass, who directed the last two movies, is no longer around, we're in no less capable hands with Tony Gilroy, who had a hand in the screenplays of each previous film. What's curious about Legacy is that we're not left with a reboot or a reimagining. Instead, this fourth entry starts around the beginning of The Bourne Ultimatum (or towards the end of The Bourne Supremacy if you want to get really pedantic and complicated), branching off into its own story and, conceivably, its own set of sequels. The idea is that the government has a whole cadre of genetically enhanced superspies, much like Jason Bourne, stashed away around the world. With Bourne out running amok, they've decided to get rid of them and anyone with knowledge of their existence. That's fine, except they let one of these guys — Aaron Cross (Jeremy Renner) — get away, and he of course decides to get to the bottom of why his bosses are trying to kill him. This leads to the usual: a lot of narrow escapes, fist fights, and even a motorcycle chase. But there's something missing. The scope of this installment is narrowed. We're no longer traipsing around as many exotic locales (we get Alaska, the Midwest, and the Phillipines), and action is pruned down, for better or worse, in favor of more story. The plot, which is specifically focused on Cross and his need for medication that's supplied by his higher-ups, seems smaller and less urgent. But the point of Legacy — and really each of the films that came before it — is to expand its own mythos, and within these modest aims, the movie works. There's a genuine attempt at making something new while keeping in the spirit of what came before it. —Justin Souther

Film Credits

Official Site:

Director: Tony Gilroy

Writer: Tony Gilroy

Producer: Frank Marshall, Patrick Crowley, Jeffrey M. Weiner and Ben Smith

Cast: Jeremy Renner, Edward Norton, Rachel Weisz, Joan Allen, Oscar Isaac, Donna Murphy, Albert Finney, Scott Glenn, David Strathairn and Stacy Keach


The Bourne Legacy

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