The Bourne Legacy : Mildly above mediocre
Tony Gilroy (screenplay) resume boasts of some notable money spinners in the box office of which The Bourne Series, Armageddon, Proof Of Life, State Of Play & Michael Clayton are the ones we are most likely to remember. He now takes upon himself (with the producers nod ofcourse) the arduous task of writing & directing the newest Bourne story with a few exceptions of course. First of all, unlike the title there is no room for the character in the screenplay hence “legacy” and its a completely new story with an abundant dash of conspicuously similar narrative.
Jeremy Renner who garnered the most attention through Kathryn Bigelow’s “Hurt Locker” after a substantial span of time and work in the industry, gets his first solo lead of an original screenplay in “The Bourne Legacy”. Rachel Weisz is also seen after a while, followed by Edward Norton whose most recent work was Wes Anderson’s remarkably accepted “Moonrise Kingdom“.
The Good: No shaky camera. So for the folks who’d rather spend an evening hoping to catch Jason Bourne in HBO, can opt to make their way to the theater. The build up of the story is very straight forward and not very hard to follow. Although the code names of the gamut of programs and their interpretation can toss your grey around. Jeremy Renner sleep walks through the role as he was expected to but in a good way. Fantastic stunts (mostly the scenes shot in Asia). An exceptionally shot and executed bike chase scene which is longer than most chase scenese these days. (I am not complaining) But no Bullitt or French Connection please.
The Bad: As much as they wanted to sell the idea of a new story, the remarkable similarities in the narrative and treatment of the subject creates a deja vu of sorts, in a mediocre if not bad way. Some characters in the bad camp are too cardboardish. Edward Norton is wasted (I mean he reads such lines in his bathroom).Most often two dimensional facet of the story with lesser twists and turns, tends to leave a little to be desired. It has a rather abrupt climax with little or no room for expectations for the next installment if there is to be one.
Final Verdict : Bourne fans watch it. And as we already have come to know Renner is a great actor but sadly not Matt Damon. Just like Tony Gilroy is no Paul Greengrass (minus the shaky camera) Much like most big budget releases these days, The Bourne Legacy justifies its title but chooses to tread the middle path between “great” and “ok”.
Here’s the sleekly cut trailer + some behind the scenes :