¨Jason Bourne was just the tip of the iceberg. ¨
It´s been five years since the third film of the Bourne franchise came out, now Tony Gilroy has been given the responsibility to direct The Bourne Legacy, a film that works as both sort of a spin-off and sequel to the Paul Greengrass franchise. As opposed to the other films this one does not star Matt Damon and wasn´t adapted from Robert Ludlum´s novel either. It just takes some aspects of the previous films and expands it by introducing a new corporation and new characters. Jason Bourne is only named in this film and the events occur at the same time as the events from The Bourne Ultimatum are taking place. I wasn’t too sure about what to expect from this film since Matt Damon was the true star of the franchise, but I knew Jeremy Renner was a great actor. Matt Damon´s career changed completely with this franchise, and he has made a name for himself now in Hollywood. Renner has also been on a hot streak ever since The Hurt Locker starring in some great films like The Town, Mission Impossible, and The Avengers so I did think he would be able to pull it off. My main concern had to do with the new director, Tony Gilroy, who I knew was very familiar with the franchise since he adapted the screenplay from the previous films, but wasn’t sure he could pull off a spin off like this without the main star. Many people hated this film and I understand them, but I enjoyed this spy thriller quite a bit. Gilroy had already proved to be a good director when he was nominated for his work in Michael Clayton. This film may lack some of the great action editing scenes from its predecessor, but it was still a very well made action thriller.
As I mentioned before the story expands from the Jason Bourne universe and this film takes place at a parallel time while the events from The Bourne Ultimatum are taking place since Jason Bourne is referenced throughout the movie as he begins to expose Treadstone. What we learn from The Bourne Legacy is that Treadstone isn’t the only secret ops agency and that there are many more. One of those ops is Outcome, where some subjects are given medication to enhance their abilities. When Treadstone is exposed, the rest of the agencies decide it is in their best interest to sweep things under the rug and therefore begin killing off all their agents. One of the agents from Outcome, Aaron Cross (Jeremy Renner) manages to survive and begins looking for answers as to why his former bosses want him dead. Col. Eric Byer (Edward Norton) on the other hand is trying to control this crisis situation by eliminating anyone who is familiar with the Outcome program. He is one of the top men from the intelligence community that is after Aaron. Aaron, who is dependant of the special medication in order to survive, enlists the help of one of the doctor´s that has managed to escape from Outcome. Marta (Rachel Weisz) convinces Aaron that she can help him get off the special medication, but they will have to travel to Manila. The only problem is that the intelligence community will do whatever is necessary to eliminate them before they can get too far.
I don’t think The Bourne Legacy is as good as its predecessors, but it isn’t a bad film either. There are a lot of new characters introduced at the beginning of the film and if you are not familiar with the original trilogy then you might get a bit lost since they kind of take a while to introduce the new premise. The film also seems to be building up to another sequel where we might have Jason Bourne introduced back to the equation, but the film does also work on its own. It’s hard to avoid comparisons since both films take place in the same universe, but I do believe it does a good enough job to stand up a little below the previous films. I honestly had a very fun time with the film and enjoyed the Renner/Weisz duo. The story also takes place in different parts of the globe kind of like in the same way the other films did. The action scenes were entertaining so I do believe this was a worthy film and wasn’t a disgrace to the original trilogy like many upset fans are saying it was. Everyone is entitled to their opinion and I can understand how some people may be upset, but I did have a fun time with this film and enjoyed it so I´m giving it a thumbs up.