The Bourne Legacy was the 4th and most likely final movie in the fantastic Bourne series. Originally I was very skeptical about this movie. The Bourne trilogy starring Matt Damon was a brilliant series that was perfectly balanced between the very depths of a covert government program and the personal story of one of the agents, Jason Bourne, and it was concluded with little to go on for another sequel.
The critics on Rotten Tomatoes were brutal to this movie, giving it a 54%. I think I’m able to conclude why many critics were so harsh.
What must first be understood is that in itself, the Bourne Legacy would be a fairly mediocre movie. The redeeming quality of this movie is it reveals details that pertain to the trilogy, and that the movie itself takes place at the same time period as Bourne Ultimatum, and shows this throughout the film. Greater details are given to what these covert programs were about, how they were formed, and how they built on the work of the original Black Briar program, not to mention a few behind the scenes characters that made brief appearances in the trilogy. There is an array of flash backs and nods to the scientific intricacies of the program that personal story of Jason Bourne couldn’t do. It is in essence the very legacy of Jason Bourne, and requires you to have watched and remember the Bourne trilogy to understand the Legacy.
The main actors in this movie were great. They played out their roles perfectly according to what was given to them. But after the story of Jason Bourne, it is difficult to really attach yourself to the stories of anyone else. The driving force that keeps the story going is Aaron Cross’s need for a drug that was designed for the agents of this new program that enhances their mental and physical capabilities, and without the drug quickly they quickly deteriorate. There is a lacking energy that taking down the CIA had to it, but it is nonetheless an entertaining plot. The journey has a greater focus on every action of the protagonist duo rather than on the CIA understandably to drive the movie away from being on a stale platform.
In requirement with Bourne movies, there is a large of amount of great action sequences that keep par with the earlier films. However during the last 15 minutes of action, the guys sitting in the Intelligence office suddenly decide the police in the Philippines can’t handle Cross, and decide to send a super-agent to hunt him in a similar fashion to Jason Bourne’s escapades. But this last-minute drop in surprised several of the CIA as well as the audience, and then with the hype of the agent followed by his quick demise made the action seem forced, attempting to keep the adrenaline pace of the trilogy.
This movie suffered from an inability to tread on similar ground from the trilogy for fear of repetition, from the powerful scenes of Matt Damon’s moral choices and dialogue, to the showing consequences and emotional affliction from the act of killing. The vengeance and grief from the death of Jason Bourne’s only friend and love brought the audience closer to Bourne, rooting him on every step of the way and flinching every time a scope or knife was aimed at him. While we do like Aaron Cross, harm to him could not achieve the same effect, largely because with Bourne we had a trilogy to get familiar, while the Legacy just had itself to lean on with new introductions.
Overall it was a decent movie, worth seeing. The reflection you take when leaving the theater is that Aaron Cross and his newfound girl were the only other ones in these programs beside Bourne to escape the axe of the CIA, and they were now going to hide out the rest of their days similar to Bourne was doing in the Supremacy with his counterpart happily ever after. By no means was this film a masterpiece as each in the trilogy was, but I’m definitely calling foul on the critics that said this movie was garbage. It was an entertaining tag along piece to the trilogy, feeding Bourne fans with one last hoorah to ponder on.
My rating: 8/10