“Jason Bourne was just the tip of the iceberg.”
Plot-in-a-nutshell: Remnants of the Treadstone project are being killed off… but one particularly hardy specimen survives and is a little pissed off
See if it you like: Intelligent, well-paced thrillers with a nice dose of action
Completely not based on the novel of the same name – making it a mystery why the decided to use that title -Â The Bourne Legacy takes a step sideways from the first three films, continuing in the world of Bourne but without the actual character. Instead we’re introduced to Aaron Cross (Jeremy Renner), another agent and part of the Treadstone initiative to create faster, stronger soldiers.
The switch does freshen the franchise up somewhat and the film is very much unlike the three previous instalments. However, it does help to have seen them for background’s sake if nothing else. In essence, the plot is nothing new. The CIA, or whoever, is trying to kill off a series of experimental agents and one of them gets away. The rest of the film involves them trying to hunt him down… along with the obligatory tag-along female, in this case Rachel Weisz‘s Dr Marta Shearing.
Whereas in the first films, the plot just plodded along with the occasional revelation figured out something he’d forgotten, in this instance we have a very fragmented method of storytelling, with incidents of Cross’s memory popping up as they’re relevant. It does throw the viewer a little at first, as the jumps back and forth aren’t titled and you have to realise that we’re flashing back and the projectionist hasn’t just skipped a reel.
Audiences come to a Bourne film for the action, though, and it takes a long time for this to build. The scenes are less spectacular than in the Damon films, but also harsher and more brutal. In fact, the film has a bit of a European feel to it despite most of the more action-packed sequences taking place in Manilla.
Talking of which, the motorcycle chase is a very exciting sequence though loses itself to a few bits of rushed editing which can make things hard to follow at times. Confusing angles and cuts that are too quick for you to figure out what you’re looking at. I seem to recall having the same problem with one of the more recent Bond films. Maybe it’s just me.
Overall, not a bad film and it’s nice to see the change in direction. It would have been very easy to have “another Bourne film”. Instead we have another film within the Bourne stable, which is subtly different. Variety is good.
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