The Bourne Legacy is FANTASTIC

Jeremy Renner Aaron Cross Bourne Legacy

This movie is exactly what it needed to be.

I know some people are disappointed about Matt Damon’s absence from the newest Bourne installment, but frankly, I don’t miss him. The first three movies were great, but (particularly after TDKR) I really am not interested in seeing anymore despondent, heartbroken, angry bad-ass types beating up on nameless extras. Frankly, this felt like a satisfying fan-fiction version of Jason Bourne. Not quite a reboot, just reimagining the same basic plotline with more accessible characters.

Jeremy Renner (Aaron Cross) is absolutely perfect. He never stoops to cliche one-liners, but he manages to bring humor to his scenes through his dry delivery and incredulous expressions. The fact that he knows who he is and the life he chose makes his motivations much more simple, which I found refreshing after all the sturm und drang of the Bourne trilogy.

Jeremy Renner and Rachel Weisz The Bourne Legacy
His chemistry with Rachel Weisz was sweet, and thankfully not overdone. Though it really only worked because the leads (and Renner in particular) were so inherently likable, since aside from him rescuing the helpless damsel they don’t get much in the way of development.
Jeremy Renner and Rachel Weisz motorcycle Bourne Legacy
As far as the action – which I felt was so lacking in Total Recall – it’s quick enough to feel chaotic and tense, but still easy enough to follow. It was also engaging and satisfying enough to get a few cheers and “WHOOA!”s out of the audience. The pacing of the rest of the story works well too; the slower exposition is juxtaposed against more exciting scenes; the backstory is given to us in small doses throughout the present action, but it never feels like we’re strung along or missing a critical piece of information. This is not a drawn-out mystery like the earlier films, it’s just a fun thrill ride.

Jeremy Renner Aaron Cross Bourne Legacy

My only big complaint would be that the movie just… ends. I felt like we had just passed the first minor challenge/chase, and our heroes would regroup, then go in for the big fight scene or final confrontation. I also think that the lead-up to Renner’s viral MacGuffin could have used a little more suspense; aside from shaking his head and daydreaming for a microsecond, he never seems to show any signs that he’s in withdrawal or otherwise feeling the loss of his meds.

But those are relatively minor issues, considering I got 2+ hours of action and entertainment, with a few chuckles along the way. Highly enjoyable summer action flick!

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13 Comments

  1. really bourne legacy is the fantastic movie and the good action movie in overall rating . still disappointed some fans i don’t get the reason for that ..
    i just want to say i like this movie very much..

    1. So glad you agree!! Thanks for chiming in; those of us who enjoyed it are apparently few and far between, and it IS frustrating to see people rip it to shreds just because it’s not Damon/Bourne. It’s a fully satisfying standalone film, and I actually can’t wait to see it again!

  2. The ensemble was chosen perfectly, and even though there is no Matt Damon, we still get plenty of great spots from Renner and his performance as Aaron Cross. I look forward to seeing what Gilroy does with this character in the future, but for now, Iā€™m just glad he made it work. Good review Tippi.

    1. Yeah, I can see how this movie might have felt weak for some people (I thought the constant references to Bourne made it drag, and the “threat” didn’t feel very threatening), but I look at it as an origin movie laying the foundations for a hero I’m really excited to watch. Can’t wait to see where they take it next!

  3. This must be first positive review for this one I read, I hope I will like it as I’ll definetly catch this one for Rachel Weisz, I’m interested to see how she does in this type of a movie.

    1. haha I know!! I’m starting to wonder if I’m crazy, or if it was just magnificent in comparison to the steaming pile that was Total Recall. All I know is my thought at the end was, “Wait, it’s over?! More!! I want MORE JEREMY RENNER!!”

      Rachel Weisz didn’t get a whole lotta time to develop, but overall I appreciated her because any other actress in that role would have felt flat and uninteresting. I think she did a great job, and her chemistry with Renner was adorable.

  4. Evening ladies –

    I liked Bourne, but not nearly as much as you Tippi. More than anything, it left me feeling like I want to see Renner in even more films.

    Just wanted to say that I discovered your site through a comment you left over at The Velvet cafe, and that I really like what y’all have going here. Count yourself one follower richer!

    1. Thanks so much for reading Ryan, we’re glad to have you!

      I’ve come to realize that I’m in the minority in liking Legacy, but I honestly thought it was exciting (wolf-fighting!), funny-but-not-too-funny, and… well, full of Jeremy Renner (who clearly outshone every other aspect of the film).

      I think after so many action movies that either take themselves completely seriously (e.g. everything Nolan) or go for mindless action and fail on all counts (Total Recall), I was thrilled to see someone strike a perfect balance. Not everyone will agree, but that’s what the comments section is for, right? šŸ˜‰

    1. Yeah, I’m the odd one out with this šŸ™‚ And I can definitely see the problems with pacing and some of the execution, I just didn’t think they outweighed the good. I’m really surprised that what’s essentially a basic action flick turned out to be so divisive!

      Always love to read differing opinions though. Thanks for commenting!

  5. I think this is actually the first time I read a positive review about Bourne Legacy. A little bit nice because I feel there’s too much hate around. I haven’t watch any Bourne series though. TDKR was a bit too much IMO, it’s great but too polished. Thanks for sharing your views!

    1. Thanks for reading!

      If you haven’t seen any of the Bourne series AND have read the negative reviews of Legacy, I think you’ll be very pleasantly surprised. Most of the vitriol stems from people who are attached to the Damon movies, which I’m not šŸ™‚

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