Undoubtedly, the Bourne series brought quality back to an exhausted genre. Glistening with action and fixed together with a sophisticated and well-crafted story, the trilogy left its mark on audiences. But once a franchise continues without its admired director and popular central character, it’s destined for harsh scrutiny.
Taking place at the same time as Ultimatum, Legacy focuses on Aaron Cross (Jeremy Renner), a member of Operations Outcome, who is given specific green and blue pills to enhance his abilities – physically and mentally. And has much more of an understanding about his situation than Bourne did, which probably helps. Whilst in Alaska for a training assignment, Cross becomes a target of elimination after the exposure of Treadstone project and Operation Blackbriar – all thanks to Bourne. Also, Dr. Marta Shearing (Rachel Weisz) becomes a target after surviving a laboratory massacre and ends up going on the run with Cross.
If Legacy was a stand-alone film it would get better recognition, but following Ultimatum was never going to be an easy job. Legacy isn’t as slick as the previous installments: the dialogue isn’t as sharp and the direction lacks confidence, however with the script studying new characters and expanding the Bourne universe, this follow up is, to some degree, intriguing.
Legacy is more about the journey and the chase rather than digging deeper into a character. It’s a different type of chaos and pace for the Bourne series, which may displease devotees, especially as it runs surprisingly low on action for the majority of the time.
Renner is an appealing action hero, tough and committed, he’s a character you root for. You also root for Rachel Weisz. She’s brilliant, her vulnerability is apparent and she proves to be a useful companion. Edward Norton plays “the bad guy” and is an unexpectedly dull addition; it seems the screen only lights up with the presence of Renner and Weisz.
Legacy comes to a close with a big bang and an inconclusive ending, setting itself up for a sequel, so here’s hoping we get to delve into the lives of Cross and Shearing once again but maybe with a little more spark.
Ben has awarded The Bourne Legacy three Torches of Truth.