Pretty good, mostly fun. Never boring, action fun...but the plot left me wondering why this was a Bourne movie.
Bourne Legacy, the fourth Bourne movie, stars Jeremy Renner. You might remember him from The Hurt Locker or as Hawkeye from the Avengers. In this movie, he plays another super soldier created by another secret government agency. This time, however, the process by which the soldiers are given superhuman strength, speed and intelligence is via a regimen of pills.
This excited me at first, as the Bourne movies have always been a not so subtle reference to Nazi experimentation on humans and the idea of creating a master race. The biggest problem with Jason Bourne was control, he had free will and was able to think for himself and question his orders. I was hoping the new movie would address such issues and imply that the pills were part of that control and reducing soldiers abilities to question their actions. But, alas, the pills were used to make them stronger and smarter. Which is still quite interesting, and a fun plot to explore, to be sure. However, now that you made a soldier stronger and faster, if he can still think for himself, he might turn on you. This is a bad combination, and of course, that’s the point of the movie.
I have two requests of my readers.
1) Please know that wolves don’t attack people, please. Hollywood has been implying that they do for decades and there has been only ONE recorded attack in a hundred years. Our pet dogs kill more of us then wolves do by FAR. I’ve discussed all this in my review for The Grey, I won’t harp on it too much, but it really disappointed me that this movie yet again implied that a beautiful creature like a wolf would hunt human beings. (yes, there is a short line where Renner’s character admits that wolves don’t hunt people, and another character pontificates that perhaps the wolves didn’t think he was human). If Hollywood wants to suggest that a wild animal might attack and kill a human, why don’t they just use a Mountain Lion or a Bear, who DO attack, kill, and eat people from time to time?
2) Watch the first Bourne movie, The Bourne Identity, again. It’s well directed, well acted, great plot, fun action and just a fun movie. One small, but very important distinction between the first movie and all the rest is that it was directed by Doug Liman, who choose to forgo the shaky camera crap and focus on the well trained abilities by Matt Damon in his fight scenes...and he is FAST. The other two Matt Damon Bourne movies were directed by Paul Greengrass and this new one with Jeremy Renner is directed by Tony Gillroy. They both employ the shaky camera effect, apparently forgetting the wonderful invention of the steadicam, though, the technology is so simple, even I created my own home made one recently. This makes the action sequences confusing and some moviegoers even feel sick watching them.
Bourne Legacy isn’t a bad movie, I enjoyed it, but not as much as the first three because of the week plot and anti-climactic ending. Jeremy Renner worked well as the main character and action star, and I’m excited to see what Hollywood will do with in the future. Perhaps an unnecessary Hawkeye prequel?
Feel free to see it in the theater, but I wish I had just waited for the rental.
And here's what Movie Bob thinks: