Movie Review: The Bourne Legacy

Movie Review: The Bourne Legacy

The Bourne Legacy


PG-13 for violence and intense action sequences.
Genre: Thriller, action, sequel.
Running Time: 2 hours 15 minutes

The Bourne story is back but this time around Jason Bourne is nowhere to be found. Instead we discover there were more than just one. While we don’t know how many such elite government operatives really exist, one thing we do know is there’s more than just one. While the top secret CIA program teeters on being outed in the news, a plan is hatched to “burn the whole program to the ground”.

For Aaron Cross – that is very bad news.

Bourne Without Damon

For Bourne fans, the first thing you will notice in this fourth flick in the franchise is the absence of Matt Damon who made the Jason Bourne character so famous. The Bourne Legacy is a 2004 spy fiction thriller written by Eric Van Lustbader and is the fourth novel in the Jason Bourne series. The book has Jason Bourne settling back into his role as David Webb, professor of linguistics at Georgetown University. In the book, when a gunshot narrowly misses Webb’s head the Bourne persona once again awakened.

Not only is Bourne missing from this installment of the Bourne franchise, but the script is totally different from the book. The name may be the same – The Bourne Legacy – but aside from the name, the similarities quickly disappear. This movie isn’t even a reboot or a prequel. It’s more of a spin-off of the original Bourne movies introducing a new character that could be described as “the mold of Bourne” dealing with the ramifications of the Treadstone conspiracy. Those in the know are threatening to “burn the program to the ground” and this begins the systematic elimination of not only highly trained and modified operatives, but everyone involved in the program.

But just when those involved in the Bourne program believe they have successfully eliminated everyone – Aaron Cross surfaces.

Jeremy Renner of The Avengers, Mission Impossible Ghost Protocol, Thor and The Town plays the role of Aaron Cross. While his earlier roles seemed somewhat hit and miss and lack-luster, Renner’s laid back performance style works well in this movie. I wasn’t sure if he could pull off a starring role in a movie, but when all is said and done, Renner appears to have risen to the occasion for The Bourne Legacy. 

The downside of this movie – aside from the fact that it clocks in at better than two hours – revolves around a somewhat confusing story line. It actually takes about a half hour to begin to formulate some kind of a consistent story line. But even then, there are times when the movie seems like a piecemeal of colliding ideas. Yes, there is a common thread of what’s called The Bourne Legacy but the constant jumping from place to place, introducing a number of characters along the way, makes it hard to follow at first. After about an hour of trying to figure out how it all connected, I finally decided to just sit back and enjoy the mindless action on the big screen.

If you’re into lots of action and things that go “boom” you will enjoy this movie. If you’re looking for the familiarity of the Matt Damon Bourne movies, you will not find it here. There are casual mentions and references to Jason Bourne, but it is obvious those involved with this franchise are trying to spin it off with new characters in the hopes of generating a new generation of fans for the series.

Overall – while I did enjoy The Bourne Legacy – I find myself giving it a mediocre Lloyd rating of 2 and a half Lloyds. The action is intense and probably the plot line is a little predictable too. If anything this movie falls into the category of “been there, done that, seen that” all before.

Enjoy the show,

Dr. Rus

About the Author

Dr. Rus has 30+ years experience in the field of communication. He takes this experience, and his passion to encourage others to positively effect their environment, when providing insight and movie reviews.