Aubrey Ward III
I'm not telling you what to see. I'm not telling you what not to see. I'm just sharing my experience and opinion on the movie, tv show or play that I have seen. I'm merely an advisor. Ultimately, you will have to go with your own gut and decide if you'll buy the ticket or not.View all articles by Aubrey Ward III
During Aaron's quest for answers he helps to save the life of Dr. Marta Shearing (Rachel Weisz). Marta has also been targeted for elimination due to her work with the Treadstone agents. The two decide to team up as they are both dependent on each other for survival; Aaron can fight off the threats the CIA throws at them while Marta is the key to obtaining the medication that will keep Aaron functional.
I've never read the original “Bourne” novels by Robert Ludlum nor "The Bourne Legacy" novel penned by Eric Van Lustbader. As for the films, I've only seen The Bourne Identity (2002 / Film 1) and The Bourne Ultimatum (2007 / Film 3) so I'm familiar with the franchise but I wouldn't dub myself a devoted disciple of The “Bourne” Franchise. Still, when comparing The Bourne Legacy to the previous films this seems to follow the scheme of The Bourne Identity with the obedient agent set in the crosshairs of his own superiors and on a race against time to find out why he's been put on the “doghouse list”. Like Jason Bourne (portrayed by Matt Damon), Aaron Cross hooks up with a lovely lady and makes her a reluctant partner in his battle with the covert government agency(s). Aaron also gets to tangle with another operative (“Larx-03” played by Louis Ozawa Changchien) just as Jason had to in the previous films. Though the main character is different his journey is surprisingly similar to Jason Bourne's which makes me wonder if Treadstone pre-progammed the same escape plan for every “Operation Outcome” operative.
Despite the glaring similarities there are some new aspects that keep things slightly fresh. First and foremost is the introduction of Aaron Cross. Having Mr. Renner take up the lead on the franchise does give it some fresh air. After some impressive roles in Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol (2011) and Marvel's The Avengers (2012) along with his “big break” in The Hurt Locker (2008) Mr. Renner is well on his way to becoming the next major leading actor on the block. Instead of waking up with amnesia and having to piece everything together like Jason Bourne, Aaron Cross is already fully operational. His perspective is from someone who has done everything commanded of him and is then mysteriously sentenced to death with no explanation. Aaron is also a man on borrowed time as it is revealed that in order to retain his enhanced physicality and overall sanity he must take a special medication that only Treadstone provides.
Dr. Marta Shearing (Rachel Weisz), I suppose, is similar to Nicky Parsons (Julia Stiles).
Yeah, a fellow scientist, (Zeljko Ivanek), decides to lock all the scientists in a room and then unload bullets in a cold and efficient manner. Quite a chilling and disturbing scene with the Colorado movie theater massacre still a not-too-distant memory. This makes Marta's traumatic episode even more compelling as the fantastical action film injects a small dose of harsh reality into the piece. Anyway, I'm a fan of Ms. Weisz so I was pleased to see her in another big ticket movie and “Dr. Marta” turns out to be kind of cool once she settles into her role of “sidekick”.
At the core of The Bourne Legacy is that another government agency that is above both Treadstone and Blackbriar steps in to clean up the mess left by Jason Bourne in the previous film. Eric Byer (Edward Norton) decides to just terminate the Outcome program while in the past three films the commanders just wanted to take out the rogue agent and preserve the purity of the successful program. Even when it seems all the operatives are disposed of there turns out to be another agent that's kept on the shelf in case of emergencies. So, the “legacy” could continue as more operatives are brought into the light either by their own accord or by more devious means.
The Bourne Legacy was a decent action film so I got my money's worth of shoot-outs, punch-outs and one dazzling motorcycle chase through the streets of Manila. Even with the addition of new characters and an altered mission The Bourne Legacy still felt too familiar to the past films. It's just another case of Hollywood pasting a new label on an old bottle of formula and advertising it as “new and improved”. Unfortunately, you have to buy the bottle before you can try it out so the seller will still make his money even if it is the same old stuff. Therefore, expect more Bourne movies to be churned out along with a bunch of other remakes and reboots. If you've never seen any of the Bourne films then The Bourne Legacy will feel like a revelation. For those that have seen at least one of the Bourne films, get ready for a large cup of deja-vu.
Rhymes With: The Bourne Identity (2002), The Bourne Supremacy (2004), The Bourne Ultimatum (2007), Total Recall (2012), Salt (2010), Haywire (2011), Columbiana (2011), Mission Impossible 3 (2006)