Thursday Night Movie Club
The Bourne Legacy
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Release Date: 10 August 2012

Director: Tony Gilroy
Jeremy Renner
Rachel Weisz
Scott Glenn
Stacy Keach
Edward Norton
Donna Murphy
Michael Chernus
Corey Stoll
Alice Gainer
Prue Lewarne
Howard Leader
James Joseph O'Neil
Tony Guida
Sonnie Brown
Neil Brooks Cunningham
Aaron Cross
Dr. Marta Shearing
Ezra Kramer
Retired Adm. Mark Turso, USN
Retired Col. Eric Byer, USAF
Dita Mandy
Arthur Ingram
Zev Vendel
Lean Forward MSNBC Anchor
CNN Reporter
MSNBC Man Analyst
Sterisyn-Morlanta Gateman
Dr. Benezara
Dr. Lieberburg
Dr. Dan Hillcott
The Bourne Legacy movie poster #1 The Bourne Legacy movie poster #3
Jeremy Renner in The Bourne LegacyThe Bourne Legacy takes place concurrent with The Bourne Ultimatum. The actions of Jason Bourne (Matt Damon) wreaks havoc in this installment. The government agencies behind Bourne panic and decide to shut down other ongoing missions. One involves genetically-enhanced humans who have spent years creating deep under cover ops. These four agents are now targeted for death. Each agent has been conditioned to take green and blue pills for their survival. They are all given yellow pills which replaces taking two separate ones. The yellow pills are instantaneous death!

Conveniently off the map is Aaron Cross (Renner) who is on a survival training mission in Alaska. He must be dealt with in another manner. Cross has been designated as "Number 5". He meets "Number 3" (Oscar Isaac) in a remote shack/safe house. Cross is supicious as he was not expecting anyone. Number 3 is suspicious as Cross is two days ahead of schedule. Cross also took a different route to the shack. The two form an uneasy alliance which grows as neither tried to kill the other in his sleep.

The following morning, both men can hear an approaching aircraft from many miles away. There is nothing on their radio making contact with them. They decide to split up and see what is going on. Number 3 doesn't get out of the cabin in time. A missle strike from an unmanned drone destroys the cabin. Cross is on his own with someone hot on his trail to kill him.

In one of the few surprises in the film, Cross cuts a tracking device out of his arm and forces a wild wolf to swallow it. When the drone returns, the next missile strike destroys the wolf and Cross' tracker. He is safe for the moment.

Jeremy Renner and Rachel Weisz in The Bourne LegacyThe remainder of The Bourne Legacy involves Cross' attempts to flee his pursuers while tracking down the only person who can help him. Dr. Marta Shearing (Weisz) has performed tests on Cross. She is the only person he knows who can replenish his dwindling supply of drugs.

The best parts of The Bourne Legacy involve the frantically edited action sequences. However, car chases, fist fights, foot chases are so quickly edited together as to render them impossible to follow. How many times can a man shift into fifth gear on his car? Come to think of it, how many forward gears are on these cars? And why is it that no matter what car Cross hops into, the car always has a manual transmission?

Edward Norton and Stacy Keach in The Bourne LegacyIn the wake of recent mass shootings in public places, The Bourne Legacy also includes this type of sequence. It is rather uncomfortable to watch. Making matters worse, the motives behind the shooting are unclear. Is the man under too much stress? Is he under orders to kill everyone in sight? Is he in fear for his own safety and realizes he cannot trust anyone? Who know. The answer may be buried in the screenplay somewhere.

Jeremy Renner and Rachel Weisz are the only actors trying to act. Edward Norton, Stacy Keach and Scott Glenn do not bring their A games. Renner is a bit of an automaton as Cross but that is how his character was developed. He is a cold-blooded operative. Once unknown elements try to kill him, like Jason Bourne, Cross' sole desire now is to survive and get as far away from those pursuing him as possible.

Rachel Weisz and Jeremy Renner in The Bourne LegacyFortunately for Cross, Dr. Shearing finds herself in the exact same situation. Her former employers have turned on her. She is not a victim of an office shooting, she is a liability to the upper-level mucketymucks trying to save their prospective asses. One of the only other really good scenes is Shearing's debriefing after the shooting. Weisz is effective portraying the panicked Shearing who slowly begins to realize this is not a debrief. The doctors sent to question her are more interested in who she talked to and who else knows what is really going on with Cross and his fellow agents. Weisz carries the scene by being scared stiff, then anger and rage, and finally the slowly-dawning realization that things are not what they seem.

The most mind-numbing lack of logical screenwriting during the setup to the final confrontation. Eric Beyer (Norton) decides to activate the next-generation of genetically enhanced agents. Somehow, this asian agent was passed up in the purging that took place at the beginning of the film. It's the T-100 vs. the T-1000.

If all you are looking for is a mindless, summer action movie, The Bourne Legacy is right up your alley. If you want something with a bit more meat on its bones, there are a lot of other action films to see.