Without its star Matt Damon and director Paul Greengrass, the decision to continue the Bourne series was met with much scepticism. This would seem to be entirely justified when viewing the finished project as The Bourne Legacy fails to live up to the lofty standards set by the original trilogy.
Perhaps at least some of this original cynicism was undeserved. Jeremy Renner makes a worthy successor to Damon with a committed performance and is wholly believable as this film’s invincible badass, Aaron Cross. In events occurring alongside to those seen in The Bourne Ultimatum, Cross goes on the run from Treadstone as it starts to cover-its-tracks in the light of an impending investigation into it, caused by Jason Bourne’s actions. In a new twist to the series, Cross is also a part of a new breed of engineered agents who benefit from power-enhancing pills but to his misfortune, he is all out and needs to find some before losing the plot.
On paper, Tony Gilroy would seem like the right man to spearhead this revival of sorts. Not only did he help pen the first three Bourne screenplays but he also proved his directing credentials with his Oscar nominated work in the fascinating Michael Clayton. However what this film really misses is the sophisticated and relentless energy that Paul Greengrass brought to both Supremacy and Ultimatum. Problems are further compounded by a script which is, perhaps surprisingly, devoid of any genuinely intuitive or nail-biting set pieces. Try as they might, the talented cast which also includes Rachel Weisz and Edward Norton, are also lumbered with one-dimensional and predictable characters which fail to make the slightest impact and reinforce the unfulfilling nature of the film.
Whether you’re a fan of the original trilogy or not, be prepared as although it offers the occasional exciting moment, The Bourne Legacy is a disappointing mess.
The Bourne Legacy (2012), directed by Tony Gilroy, is released on Blu-ray and DVD in the UK by Universal Pictures UK, Certificate 12.