This might be the worst movie of the year, if you look at one thing – the cast. The list of actors in this are among the best in the business: Joan Allen, Edward Norton, Stacy Keach, Rachel Weisz, Albert Finney, Scott Glenn, David Strathairn, and Jeremy Renner as the Bourne replacement. I can’t even recall what his name was. Aldous Snow, maybe. Oh wait, that was Russell Brand in some other film. Oh hell, who really cares?
As much as I enjoy Renner’s work, what made the Jason Bourne character interesting is you had Matt Damon. He had this All-American boy from Iowa look, yet he was really this badass agent with mad fighting skills. Renner kind of looks like…a badass agent with mad fighting skills…that brought those serious facial expressions he used in Hurt Locker. The muscles he brings to the table might work for some, but it takes the fun out of it. Director and screenwriter Tony Gilroy should’ve brought a script to the table. He wrote this weak narrative with his brother Dan.
He penned the other Bourne films and the interesting Michael Clayton. I expected more out of him with this.
I remember joking with another critic after Inception, about how Ellen Page’s character was there so they could explain things to her about what was going on; and the audience would get it. It felt like Edward Norton’s character was the opposite of that here. He was being vague about things. He’d shout about this other government agency that trained secret agents that were just as tough as Jason Bourne. Yet if you asked more questions about how things went so wrong, he’d yell, “How doesn’t really matter, does it?”
Uh, I guess not. If you just want to show us chase, after chase, after chase. And if you’re doing that, I suppose teenage boys will enjoy the ride. I just sat there thinking…I liked the car chases better in Bullitt and The French Connection.
When Renner abducts Weisz (they had nice chemistry together), I thought about how I enjoyed Robert Redford abducting Faye Dunaway more in Three Days of the Condor.
When a guy on a motorcycle never lets up in his pursuit of Renner…I thought about the villain in Terminator 2 who was so much more fun in that role.
When Renner continued to fight off wolves with a torch…okay, I didn’t like Liam Neeson doing that better in The Grey, but you get the point. Nothing is really original here. You’re entertained by some great stunts, a fun motorcycle chase, a well-shot film with a fun score…but it’s disappointing. Especially when you come away thinking this is all a big set-up for Renner to take over this series.
For filmmakers doing action pictures, there are two things they should keep in mind. One: we don’t need the shaky cam anymore.
Two: we don’t need rooftop chases anymore. Especially in places like Manila, with the tin roof that’s loud and poorly built structures that people fall through (and never break their legs).
And somebody explain to me why the movie The Watch had to change the title from Neighborhood Watch after the George Zimmerman shooting…yet we can have a scene in this where a character locks everyone in a room and starts shooting them all dead. After the latest Dark Knight, didn’t anybody think they should edit the scene from this movie? I’m not saying they should’ve. I’m just a little confused on the rules. I seriously think the name change hurt The Watch at the box office.
I’m sure the poor reviews for Bourne Legacy won’t hurt it. The fans of action pictures will get exactly what they want.
This unnecessary part of the series only gets 1 ½ stars out of 5 from me.