Saturday, August 18, 2012

The Bourne Legacy

Movie Name: The Bourne Legacy
Year of Release: 2012
Director: Tony Gilroy
Stars: Jeremy Renner, Rachel Weisz, Edward Norton, Stacy Keach, Donna Murphy, David Strathairn, Joan Allen, Albert Finney, Oscar Isaac, Zeljko Ivanek, Scott Glenn, Corey Johnson
Genre: Action, Adventure, Thriller
Score out of ten (whole numbers only): 5

Writer and director Tony Gilroy is back, continuing the "Bourne" saga for which he has written the previous three installments (for directors Doug Liman and Paul Greengrass). The film follows the story of Aaron Cross, who similarly to Jason Bourne, is an agent under the highly secretive program Treadstone. The people responsible for the program are all trying to contain the information from becoming public, and in the process, are eliminating all the supporting players, including agents. Aaron is one of the targets, though he manages to elude his captors and pursue a doctor who may be able to assist him uncovering the whole ordeal and save his own life. Aaron and Marta go on the run from the entire agency and other agents that are trying to eliminate them.
Tony Gilroy has a long career as a screenwriter, and knows the Bourne saga quite well. The main issue with extending the series which had Matt Damon and director Paul Greengrass at the helm, is the lack of the sense of urgency and gripping characters the previous films had (not to mention the strong hand from director Paul Greengrass). "The Bourne Legacy" tries to build many bridges between the new characters and the events that surrounded the previous films, but ends up being a convoluted mess, that doesn't provide any further motivation or understanding of the main characters, that are after all, the core of this new film. The film tries quite hard to explain the ramifications of the conspiracies (trying to echo the 70s conspiracy thrillers, such as Sidney Pollack's "Three Days of the Condor"), but ultimately the characters are simply not as engaging, and their relationships not really developed. The film has a fantastic cast, namely Jeremy Renner, Rachel Weisz and Edward Norton, but they simply can't elevate the film to the levels of the previous ones. A missed opportunity.