Another successful franchise continues on the big screen with the latest entry into the Bourne series.

“The Bourne Legacy” drops the main character of the previous films, the mysterious Jason Bourne (Matt Damon), and picks up a new character to lead audiences through this wild spy chase.

Another successful franchise continues on the big screen with the latest entry into the Bourne series.

“The Bourne Legacy” drops the main character of the previous films, the mysterious Jason Bourne (Matt Damon), and picks up a new character to lead audiences through this wild spy chase.

The film begins in the aftermath of Bourne’s takedown of Operation Blackbriar. The CIA attempts to dismantle other black ops programs, along with terminating their field agents. One field agent, Aaron Cross (Jeremy Renner) learns of this plan and sets out to get even with those who seek to terminate him.

As the previous Bourne films began their action scenes almost immediately,  “Legacy” moves at a slower pace, taking time to provide viewers with information regarding Cross’ backstory. With the exception of two scenes, the film is low on action sequences and heavy with dialogue.

Because the film lacks the other films’ energy, it struggles to find its tone. At times, “Legacy” feels like a typical action thriller, as missiles fly through forests and bullets tear a house apart. But when Cross meets up with Dr. Marta Shearing (Rachel Weisz), the film brings in a romantic angle that never feels genuine. Both Renner and Weisz are great actors, but their chemistry lacks the spark that made Bourne’s relationship with Marie (Franka Potente) the beating heart of the previous films.

The success or failure of “Legacy” will ultimately rest on an audiences’ reception to Renner as the new hero of this franchise. Renner could ride on the success he had earlier this summer with his role as Hawkeye in “The Avengers.” He has the tough-guy attitude that usually makes action thrillers work.

However, what Renner lacks is the vulnerability that Damon brought to the character of Jason Bourne. Bourne was tough, but he had weaknesses that made his conflicts even more threatening. Cross is too clever and sly for this film’s own good and he never feels prone to danger. Bourne’s triumphs seemed like a worthy victory, while Cross’ exploits appear unsurprising and predictable.

Rated PG-13
Running time: 125 minutes

UPDATE: This review was written Friday, August 10, 2012.“The Bourne Legacy” earned the top spot at the box office this weekend with $38.1 million dollars.

 

 

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