Let’s admit it. Not all Filipinos are really great followers of the Bourne franchise, or fans of creator Robert Ludlum. I for one am not that familiar with Ludlum’s novels, or Director Tony Gilroy’s works. But the main reasons why I really wanted to watch The Bourne Legacy consist of two things—Jeremy Renner; and the scenes shot in the Philippines. I kept an eye on Renner when I first saw him in The Hurt Locker where he was nominated for an Oscar. I really thought that he has the potential to be this BIG. On the other hand, a few months back, the whole nation went gaga when the production team of The Bourne Legacy set foot on our humble archipelago to shoot a couple of scenes.
The Bourne Legacy is not a reboot (just like The Amazing Spider-Man, which I have a review HERE). It may not be called a sequel per se, but Director Tony Gilroy created something that is parallel to the original Bourne world, with several casts of the original trilogy reprising their roles to generate some sort of continuity to the story. I want to call this action movie as a franchise expansion.
Writer/Director Gilroy expands the Bourne universe created by Robert Ludlum with an original story that introduces us to a new hero Aaron Cross (Jeremy Renner) who, like Jason Bourne, is also a chemically-enhanced super soldier. Now that the secret program of the CIA is on the verge of being exposed, the CIA led by Eric Byer (Edward Norton) decides to shut the program down. That means killing all the Output agents, as well as the manufacturers of the Magic Greens and Blues, enter Dr. Marta Shearing (Rachel Weisz) and her group of scientists.
The first half of the movie was a bit dragging for me, then it slowly simmers to an adrenaline-packed action sequence, then it abruptly ends, leaving the audience either wanting for more, or just simply disappointed.
Jeremy Renner is without a doubt one of the greatest actors of our generation, and he did not disappoint as the Legacy bearer. He is definitely an intense action-star, topped with outstanding and believable acting chops. Rachel Weisz was also great as scientist Dr. Shearing. Edward Norton and the rest of the cast were good, but I think Norton was relatively useless in this movie.
All in all I think The Bourne Legacy was just OK. The action sequences were REALLY good, but my favourite parts of the movie were the scenes shot in the Philippines, without any biases. With an ending like that, the production team obviously wanted to create a new saga for the Bourne franchise, with or without Jason Bourne.
3.5 out of 5