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Tuesday, 28 August 2012

The Bourne Legacy

5 years since Ultimatum seems like a reasonable enough amount of time to start the studio machine up again and squeeze more life out of the Bourne franchise but Legacy is unfortunately for the most part an inert attempt to expand the Bourne universe. Although it has a great cast with Renner as a believable successor (contemporary?) of Damon's Bourne, a good dynamic between Renner and Weisz and Ed Norton inherently watchable, the script becomes confused too early on and fizzles out. Everything seems a bit rote after it was so excitingly done in the Bourne trilogy, and although the final chase in Manila is very good, it doesn't quite match the superbly orchestrated sequences in Ultimatum. The first act suffers badly from a case of crosscutting mania as the elaborate machinations within the CIA are intercut with Aaron Cross on a training mission in the mountains - whereas in the trilogy the political warfare within American secret intelligence is actually compelling to watch here it is dry and unimaginative, Joan Allen's absence being a particularly conspicuous one. There are some interesting echoes in there about Cross' dependency on chems and his body's degeneration in a similar vein to Bourne's coercion into the Treadstone program, but it isn't as intriguing as Bourne's amnesiac quest to discover his real identity. So a passable thriller, but an unnecessary addition to the Bourne series.