Good, Bad & Ugly Review: The Bourne Legacy

Rotten Tomatoes Rating: 55% (Critics) / 57% (Audience)
Directed By: Tony Gilroy
Written By: Tony Gilroy and Dan Gilroy
Starring: Jeremy Renner, Rachel Weisz and Edward Norton
Studio: Universal Pictures

Synopsis: The narrative architect behind the Bourne film series, Tony Gilroy, takes the helm in the next chapter of the hugely popular espionage franchise that has earned almost $1 billion at the global box office: The Bourne Legacy. The writer/director expands the Bourne universe created by Robert Ludlum with an original story that introduces us to a new hero (Jeremy Renner) whose life-or-death stakes have been triggered by the events of the first three films. For The Bourne Legacy, Renner joins fellow series newcomers Rachel Weisz, Edward Norton, Stacy Keach and Oscar Isaac, while franchise veterans Albert Finney, Joan Allen, David Strathairn and Scott Glenn reprise their roles.

The Good:
Renner’s Aaron Cross makes a perfectly suitable replacement for Matt Damon’s Jason Bourne in the action hero department. Renner pulls off the action/fight scenes very well. He dives into the those scenes with a great deal of gusto and helps to make them shine.

The Bad:
While Renner performed admirably in the action scenes he was a bit disappointing in the other aspects of the Cross character. His Cross is a bit of cypher and the attempts to provide the character with some depth didn’t really work all that well. The chemistry between Renner and Rachel Weisz also was a bit of a letdown. The two of them together never really clicked onscreen for me.
I also was a bit disappointed at the lack of action scenes in the film. A movie like this should move at a constant break neck pace and there were way too many lull periods for my tastes.

The Ugly:
The way the movie ended was really bad. It just came out of nowhere and seemed more fitting for the pilot episode of a new TV series than for a major motion picture.

Final Verdict: As a continuation of the Bourne series, The Bourne Legacy has some merits but as a stand alone movie it is very flawed in its pacing and structure. The action is not as plentiful as it needs to be to overcome the weaknesses in the movie and ending like the next episode will be premiering in a week doesn’t help matters. C

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