Jeremy Renner is a natural born Bourne, though he doesn’t have to be since we’re done with that and it actually is refreshing to see a new storyline, rather than a reboot or a sudden and inexplicable face change. He’s Aaron Cross or number 5 and he’s just as bad ass as Jason Bourne ever was. If this was a sequel, Matt Damon, who only appears in passport photos, we’d have a 41 years old spy, which is fitting, since Renner is 41. Renner does a good job being the Ying to Damon’s Yang. He wants to be faster and smarter, he doesn’t want out. Not at first. Bourne Legacy starts really slow, it takes its time to set up the characters and make sure, maybe a tad too much, that we are up to speed, but once it change gears it doesn’t stop.
In the fourth installment of the Bourne series we have the franchise’s screenwriter, Tony Gilroy, helming the movie for an entry which sidelines Jason Bourne in order to introduce a new agent: Aaron Cross. Cross (Jeremy Renner) is a member of a different program called Operation Outcome, one of those shady black ops programs created by the Department of Defense, so we can have movies like these. In this program, the agents take pills to enhance their physical and mental abilities. His main motivation, as a mixture of a super soldier and a junkie, is to get the ultimate fix, the one that will improve his skills and set him free. Edward Norton and Rachel Weisz co-star, with Joan Allen, Albert Finney and Matt Damon reprising their roles in micro scenes or just photographs.
The original team was set to return, but since Paul Greengrass left, Matt Damon pledged allegiance to him leaving the studio with no Bourne for a new movie. The production for The Bourn Ultimatum was notoriously hectic and George Nolfi was called for emergency rewrites on Tony Gilroy’s draft, which lead us to Matt Damon publicly ripping Gilroy on a GQ interview. Damon basically called Gilroy indolent and unethical, because the draft he delivered was terrible and underwritten, even though he received a lotta money for it. Fast forward to the decision of making Tony Gilroy the director/screenwriter for The Bourne Legacy sans Bourne and bring Jeremy Renner for the sequel/reboot.
The Bourne Legacy hits all the right spots when it comes to the Bourne series, albeit slower, the third acts sort of compensates with so much action, you’d have to remind yourself to breath. The first two acts slowly build up the tension and wittily creates a parallel with The Bourne Ultimatum making a deep connection with the series, which in a way, gives us a feeling that The Bourne Legacy is a really good replica of an original brand, but then again, isn’t Bourne a wannabe James Bond as well? If Jeremy Renner keeps bringing his A game, the franchise will be fine.