Your Ticket Inside the Movies


Review: The Bourne Legacy

Posted August 15, 2012 by in Action







Musical Score

Total Score

75/ 100

What We Thought

Genre: , ,
Actors: , ,
Runtime: 135 minutes
Available in 3D: No

What We Liked :

Interesting Set Pieces, Jeremy Renner as Aaron Cross

What We Disliked:

Being a new movie in the Bourne franchise, Takes too long to get anywhere
Bottom Line

For its many faults, The Bourne Legacy is still an entertaining summer excursion.

by Max
Full Article

The Bourne Legacy is an interesting attempt at continuing a franchise. The events in the film run concurrently with the events from the previous Bourne trilogy. It feels like a cheap way to add another character into the mix, but does it manage to hold up to the standards that Jason Bourne set forth?

Aaron Cross (Jeremy Renner) enters the frame in the very first seconds of The Bourne Legacy in exactly the same fashion Jason Bourne has before, face down in the water. It is only the beginning of a bullet list of parallels The Bourne Legacy attempts to follow. The director, Tony Gilroy, has an interesting dilemma when creating Bourne Legacy. It has the name of the previous franchise and includes countless references to the events in that series, but Jason Bourne is never seen throughout the entire picture.

Thankfully, The Bourne Legacy isn’t just a cash-in on the Bourne name. Like the trailers alluded to, “Treadstone was just the tip of the iceberg”, as Aaron Cross is part of another government program this time headed by USAF Colonel (ret.) Eric Byer (Edward Norton). This particular program, entitled Outcome, has its agents dependent on taking daily supplements to keep their intelligence and strength at extremely high levels. Once Cross realizes his pill supply has suddenly run dry and the agency no longer needs his services, he begins a hunt to find a solution to his problems.

One of his greatest chances for survival is Dr. Marta Shearing (Rachel Weisz), a virologist who develops the drug prototypes for the Outcome project. Since Outcome is being terminated due to Jason Bourne, her services are no longer needed. A rouge scientist goes a shooting rampage, but luckily Shearing leaves with her life. The government still must get rid of her and without the help of Aaron Cross she might cease to exist. It wouldn’t be a Bourne movie without a female protagonist that falls in love due to being rescued.

The Bourne Legacy ends up falling into too many similarities with the previous films. There’s a car chase sequence (Bourne Identity), a rooftop-alley chase sequence (Bourne Ultimatum) and the film ends with another remix of Moby’s Extreme Ways. Couldn’t Tony Gilroy write something original into the script? How will they ever make this a franchise about Jeremy Renner while always treading the old ground? The other huge problem is how long the film takes to develop. The simpleton plot of trying to retrieve some drugs for survival could’ve been much shorter, but that is the entirety of the film. The Bourne Legacy could’ve benefited by having the entire first half hour cut and the film starting with Dr. Shearing surviving her ordeal. Jeremy Renner is in immaculate shape for this film, but how long did I need to see him hunt wolves?

For its many faults, The Bourne Legacy is still an entertaining summer excursion. Jeremy Renner proves he his leading-man material and captivates throughout the entire film. With so little to work worth (he doesn’t have amnesia like Bourne had), he does a capable job of getting us to root for his cause. The Bourne Legacy ends on an obvious enough note to expect a sequel, but hopefully they can continue to separate from Jason Bourne and make this truly a story about Aaron Cross.

Did you enjoy this article? If so, we’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below. It would be great if ‘liked’ our Facebook Page or follow us on Twitter to get more goodness. There’s lots more where this came from!

About the Author


Chief Editor of Impassionedcinema. A film enthusiast who studies and creates his own films. Criticizing movies is his favorite pass-time.



    This is the second time that I’ve heard that The Bourne Legacy could go onto having a sequel. One of the guys I work with at Dish told me that if they had made this separate from the Bourne series, it would’ve been a lot better. I’ll probably wait for Blockbuster to send it to me when it makes it to DVD. I really can’t see myself spending so much on a movie ticket, and thankfully I don’t have to.


      Thanks for stopping in Hank.

      I have to agree with your acquaintance from Dish, I wish it was an action movie that existed in its own world. It didn't need the Bourne name to make it a compelling feature.


    The more I think about it, the more I wish Legacy was an even further step away from the original Bourne franchise. I understand that it has to tie in, but it could have given it more of a chance.

    Think I'm in the same zone as you with this film, Max. Though, I didn't find it as entertaining and the final action scene felt like a little too late. Too much of a remake of Identity. Renner was great. He's got real leading man qualities, just needs a role for them.


      This is what I'm really getting at. Jeremy Renner needed room to make something out of this action fest, but it will always be consider less than the earlier entries.


    I like it much less than you. I don't know if the Aaron Cross' story is THAT compelling without Bourne's backstory, to be honest. I know for me, the Bourne name is what sells me, and the supporting cast from the original who I thought would be back, only to be disappointed that they were in for barely 2 minutes!


      I didn't care for the original supporting cast too much and I actually thought the shots were just reused from the earlier films. I'm saying that it didn't need to be a Bourne film and with that mind they could've crafted something very different for Jeremy Renner. This wasn't what he needed to cement his career as a action hero.

Leave a Response