Published on August 13th, 2012 | by BenThomas
Going to the Movies – The Bourne Legacy
I will admit, that like others, when I first heard of the creation of a new Bourne film, I wondered how much farther we could go with this story. Having been a fan of the trilogy, I felt Jason Bourne had lived his narrative, and in adding to it we would be diminishing its value. However, even though Legacy is within the family, it expands its boundaries.
It is not easy to expand the universe of an already successful movie franchise like the Bourne Trilogy, however, if you are going to try, it is best to be directed by someone who is familiar with the story. And there is probably no one more ensconced in this kick-butt spy world than Tony Gilroy, the director of Bourne Legacy.
Gilroy wrote the screenplay for the previous three Bourne movies which paved the way for the challenge to direct the newest Bourne offering. This is not Gilroy’s first directing job however, and with movies like “Michael Clayton” under his belt, he has proven his abilities from the director’s chair.
You can see Gilroy’s proficiency in writing within his movie direction. The viewer is not left long to see that there is more to the story than we knew when the credits rolled on the Bourne Ultimatum. Gilroy’s specialty is description, and he uses it well to explain the further implications of the Treadstone project that went so wrong with Jason Bourne. And these implications are told through the character of Aaron Cross (Jeremy Renner).
Cross is played with efficiency and clarity that comes from an actor like Jeremy Renner. Renner is accomplished in playing characters that tell stories with little dialogue, and his role as Aaron Cross is no different. Although Cross is not a Treadstone agent, he is an outcome agent who like Jason Bourne, was a part of a neuro-mapping experiment to make superior soldiers. Treadstone was never the only initiative in this effort, and due to its public failure now all such initiatives, as well as the agents within them, must be erased. Cross is one of these agents.
Renner’s performance however cannot be separated from the compelling performance of the films leading lady, Rachel Weisz, as Dr. Marta Shearing, a scientist who is also being targeted for elimination for cover up. Shearing and Cross work together to not only understand what is happening to them, but more importantly, to survive.
This Bourne movie has the same elements that made the previous movies; realistic action, believable stunts, and an accessible story that doesn’t get too complicated. However if there is a criticism of the Bourne Legacy it comes from the place of story. Gilroy having been a writer shows us that many times our strengths are our biggest weaknesses. There are segments of the movie that seem to bog down in description, as Gilroy tells the story with so much attention that it loses momentum. Still, we don’t have to wait very long before the speed picks up again and we remember why we love the Bourne story.