Movie Review: "The Bourne Legacy" by Andy Schopp

Director: Tony Gilroy
Writers: Tony Gilroy, Dan Gilroy, Robert Ludlum
Starring: Jeremy Renner, Rachel Weisz, Edward Norton
Rated: PG-13
Run Time: 135 min

You know that moment when you realize that a movie is actually complete garbage? That exactly line or look that ruins everything that came before and that is yet to happen? Well...this movie doesn't have any of that. What this movie does have is some really cool developments in the Bourne series. It's a different perspective of some events happening all throughout the Bourne trilogy, seen through the eyes of Aaron Cross (Jeremy Renner). There are, as per usual, very cool fight scenes and a really neat new driving force for Aaron in the form of a mind enhancing drug they simply refer to as "Blue". If you feel like enhancing YOUR mental movie experience, then stay with me.

The movie is probably what you would expect going in, but with a tiny twist: the main character is NOT Jason Bourne. I know most of you out there are smacking your foreheads and heading for that little red "X" in the top right because DUH Aaron Cross is NOT Jason Bourne, but what I mean by the aforementioned statement is that Cross doesn't start out as a bad-ass killing machine; he needs his "blue" to fulfill his full potential or else he drops back to his pre-program low IQ self. While I thought this was an interesting new take on the special operatives in that universe, it was all they really had to go on for Cross to get to the end of the movie. It didn't tie in too well in my opinion, except for the part where they start killing all the operatives out in the field - kind of an "Order 66" feel. I think there were better storylines they could have followed here to make it a more dramatic and outstanding partner film to the Bourne trilogy, such as making them actually interact in some way? Or possibly just make Cross' story have something to do with Bourne at all? Anyway, what truly lets the film down is its ending; it's pretty weak. It isn't actually an ending at all, simply a pause until we pick back up again for the "second" film. We assume more of these are coming, but I needed more resolution here in order for this film to stand on its own a bit better. They didn't finish their storyline, and that's an annoyance.

A positive I can and will give it is the obvious: the fight scenes were very cool! It has some well choreographed and thought-out fighting that puts it a step ahead of some of the other spy movies or even action movies out there. What it doesn't deliver in story, characterization, drama, story, or even its ending, it definitely delivers in some decent action sequences. Although, there is a small downside to go along with what they did do well: there aren't that many of them! For a film where about the only real positive thing was its action scenes, there weren't nearly enough for my fancy.
What I do want people to keep remembering though is that this isn't a bad movie, the only thing it has against it is that it is entirely forgettable. I'm literally having trouble remembering parts of the movie this instant and my entire focus is on attempting to replay it in my head.

Another positive that can't be taken away from it is the casting. It was superbly cast! Although, with my paragraph above I guess that makes it a kind of bad thing...actors don't want to be forgettable. Jeremy Renner does a great great job as the new "Bourne", and Edward Norton played a douche-bag pretty well! He really nailed that 'I'm from a part of the government that the President hardly knows about and I'm gonna lord it over all y'all generals because I can; while murdering people so that the public doesn't find out that sometimes we try to make human guinea pigs into assassins' thing. Overall, actors that seemed like good fits for the film, but just didn't get as much time to shine as I would have hoped; it felt as if these people were under-utilized, and that was too bad.

I would say overall that you don't NEED to see this movie in the theater. It has a pretty good score and some good action sequences but other than that its just another movie to fill up your day with. If you want to see it in the theater, more power to you, but if you want to wait for that DVD/Blu-Ray rental, I doubt anyone would call you a fool.