AEOS Review: The Bourne Legacy

I haven’t reviewed a film in quite a while, but I have some free time right now, so I’m back to posting. Thanks for everyone’s patience! (I know all of you just missed me so much, ha!)

There haven’t been that many great films to review this month (see: last post), but The Bourne Legacy was one of those films I was looking forward to for one reason: Jeremy Renner. He arrives on the Hollywood scene in his early 40s, and he seems to be the “back-up plan” for all of these franchises that seem to bumble between furthering the franchise with yet another film, rebooting the franchise entirely, or recasting the series with Renner.

Renner first showed up in The Hurt Locker and did one heck of a job so I’m told, although I have yet to see that film. But I’ve witnessed him play an excellent supporting role in The TownMission Impossible: Ghost Protocol, and The Avengers. Renner knows how to own the screen whether it’s a starring or supporting role, and I look forward to seeing more and more of him in the future!

Unfortunately, I did not dig The Bourne Legacy like I hoped to. I wouldn’t call Renner and Weisz’s performances saving graces since the film wasn’t that terrible, but the truth of the matter is that the film fell flat. It didn’t live up to the previous Bourne films, it lacked a great villain, it completely wasted Edward Norton’s talents, and Aaron Cross’s motivations were consumed solely with finding the “chems.”

Aside from the film’s notable issues, however, I found it to be an enjoyable action film. The lab scene where one of the workers goes on a killing spree was especially terrifying and shot in such a serious and subtle way, that it stood out as the best scene of the film for me.

Nothing about The Bourne Legacy especially grabbed my attention aside from the lab scene–the score lacked the excitement of the previous films, although the film did end with Moby’s Extreme Ways, which I appreciated. I tend to wonder whether there will be a fifth installment with the lackluster response both critics and audiences have given the film.

If you’d like to hear more of my banter on the film, please check out my movie buddy Ryan’s podcast on his site, The Matinee. I had the privilege of getting to guest on episode 66, where we talked not only about The Bourne Legacy, but in light of this interesting recast (Matt Damon to Jeremy Renner), also listed off each of our top 5 recasts in films. And not only to put in a plug for Ryan, but also just to say from my own perspective — Ryan runs a great site and is so up to date. He puts me to shame with how on top of things he is from writing posts, to seeing films, to recording podcasts. Please take the time to check out his site and specifically listen to episode 66 if you can spare the time! You won’t regret it.

What did you think of The Bourne Legacy? Did you like it more than I did? Do you think Jeremy Renner lived up to Matt Damon in the Bourne series? Do you think there will be a fifth Bourne film?

5 thoughts on “AEOS Review: The Bourne Legacy

  1. I think you already know I’m not keen on Renner and yes I have seen The Hurt Locker. I don’t think he’s particularly charismatic and I think that’s part of the problem of this movie, though his character wasn’t as well-written as Damon’s Bourne either. It’s such a letdown considering how good the previous trilogy was. I rewatched Bourne Ultimatum this weekend and it was eons better than this. I agree Ed Norton was wasted here, but I think the biggest crime is the misleading marketing that puts Joan Allen and David Strathairn in the same spot as Norton but they only appeared for less than 2 minutes!!


  2. It sounds like you liked it a fraction more than me. The scene in the lab was a great bit of action, but none of the action or set pieces were anywhere near what’s been seen before in the franchise. In the previous Bourne films the makers knew that with each film they needed to up the ante as they progressed – tension, thrill and action. Which they succeeded at. Not here.

    I like Renner. I enjoyed him back in that one ep of Angel back in 2000. He was a good villain-esque character in SWAT, up against Colin Farrell. I wasn’t a fan of The Hurt Locker, but thought Renner was great in it. Same here. Renner did some good work, I just didn’t like his character and his character’s motivations. Couldn’t get behind him at all.


  3. Great post, Kristin! Glad to have you back 🙂 I was actually very excited for this movie, mainly because of the cast, but the less-than-impressive reception it’s gotten has turned me off a little. I think it’ll be a rental for me.


  4. WELCOME BACK KRISTIN!!!!! I liked this movie but it didn’t meet my expectations. I was expecting more. I’m a Renner fan and I think he’s pretty good here but his character is written in a way that is far less intense than Bourne. That leads to a different feeling throughout the film. I also think you hit the nail on the head with your comment about no real villain. Very nice review. Keep ’em comin’! 🙂


    • Thanks, Keith! Sorry I’ve been so in and out lately. I hate to sound cliche and blame life and work, but that’s really what’s held me back from staying connected to everyone and posting.

      I was definitely expecting more from the film as well, and that’s what left me so disappointed. I felt like Renner was intense in his action scenes, and he even had an intense sense about him on screen, but the character was really written so differently from Damon’s.

      Yeah, it’s always a disappointment to see a good actor’s talent go to waste from poor writing and even a story lacking such an important character type. Thanks for the encouragement! I will do my best and keep an eye on Keith & the Movies 🙂


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