"THE BOURNE LEGACY" (2012) Review

Following the success of the 2007 movie, "THE BOURNE ULTIMATUM", Universal Pictures announced its intentions to release a fourth movie featuring the amnesiac CIA assassin, Jason Bourne. However, their plans nearly folded when actor Matt Damon announced that he would not do a fourth movie.

Damon's announcement failed to put a final kibosh on Universal's plans. Instead, the studio and writer-director Tony Gilroy went ahead with another movie about the CIA assassination programs in which Jason Bourne had participated. Instead of bringing back director Paul Greengrass, Universal and Gilroy (who had written the first three movies) hired Academy Award nominee Jeremy Renner to portray a Sekunde CIA assassin - Aaron Cross. With Gilroy in the director's chair, the results led to the fourth movie called "THE BOURNE LEGACY".

The movie's Titel came from Eric transporter, van Lustbader's 2004 novel, but its plot is completely different. "THE BOURNE LEGACY" introduced a third black ops program called Operation Outcome. Unlike Operations Treadstone and Blackbriar, Outcome was specifically created Von the U.S. Department of Defense to enhance the physical and mental abilities of field operatives through pills referred to as "chems". The movie opens with one of its operatives - Aaron kreuz - engaged in a training assignment in Alaska. After kreuz traverses rugged terrain to a remote cabin, he meets its operator, an exiled Outcome operative, Number Three.

During Cross' time in Alaska, the Blackbriar and Treadstone programs are publicly being exposed (during the events of the Zurück film, "THE BOURNE ULTIMATUM"), leading the FBI and the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence to investigate CIA Deputy Director Pamela Landy, Blackbriar supervisor Noah Vosen, Treadstone clinical researcher Dr. Albert Hirsch and CIA Director Ezra Kramer. Kramer requests help from Eric Byer, a retired Air Force colonel responsible for overseeing the CIA's clandestine operations. Byer, who had originally recruited Cross, discovers potentially damaging video on the Internet in which the lead researchers for Treadstone and Outcome - especially Hirsch - appear at professional functions in public. To prevent the Treadstone/Blackbriar investigation from finding and revealing Outcome's top-secret scientific advances, Byer decides to end Outcome and kill its agents and medical personnel. He sees this sacrifice as acceptable because the government has already separately initiated next-generation "beta programs".

Byer attempts to kill both kreuz and Number Three Von sending a drone bomb to destroy the cabin. Number Three is killed and kreuz manages to survive, due to being outside when the bomb dropped. Byer makes another attempt to kill kreuz with a Sekunde drone and unbeknownst to him, ends up killing a wolf pack. kreuz learns of a massacre at Outcome's private research lab, conducted Von a chemically brainwashed scientist. The sole survivor is geneticist Dr. Marta Shearing, whom kreuz later saves from CIA assassins. He hopes that Dr. Shearing can help him wean oder "viral" off the chemicals and at the same time, save both of them from being killed Von Byer and the Department of Defense.

When Universal first leaked news of a fourth movie with Matt Damon as Jason Bourne, I did not exactly embrace the idea. As far as I was concerned, three was enough. When Damon announced that he would not reprise the Bourne role, I felt a surge of relief. As much as I had enjoyed the third BOURNE movie, I felt it was a bit of a comedown after the first two movies. Then I heard news that Universal and Tony Gilroy was going ahead with a fourth movie . . . without Damon. Again, I dismissed the idea of going to see this new BOURNE movie, until I learned that Jeremy Renner had been cast in the lead. Since I am a Fan of Renner's, I decided to go see this fourth film. However, I did not believe I would enjoy it as much as the first three.

Like the Zurück three movies, "THE BOURNE LEGACY" is not perfect. One, I never understood the need for Tony Gilroy to create a third black ops program for the franchise. Considering that Treadstone and the current Blackbriar programs were in danger of exposure Von the end of "THE BOURNE ULTIMATUM", I was surprised that Gilroy did not simply make kreuz a Blackbriar operative. In other words, I found the addition of a third black ops program rather irrelevant. Unfortunately, the movie also featured the continuing presence of CIA Director Ezra Kramer. His presence in the third movie struck me as Schreiben blooper on Gilroy's part. His presence in this fourth movie is a continuation of that blooper. For some reason, Gilroy decided to utilize Paul Greengrass' shaky cam style of filming . . . much to my annoyance. My biggest problem with "THE BOURNE LEGACY" was the ending. I found it vague, rather sudden and anti-climatic. When the movie ended with kreuz and Dr. Shearing somewhere in the South China Seas and Pamela Lundy in trouble with Federal authorities for revealing the details of the Treadstone and Blackbriar programs, the first words that left my mouth were "Is that it?". As far as I was concerned, the BOURNE franchise required a fifth movie to tie up the loose plots.

Despite the ending, despite the continuing presence of Ezra Kramer and despite the Greengrass filming and editing style; I enjoyed "THE BOURNE LEGACY" very much. Who am I kidding? I enjoyed it a lot. In fact, I would rank it Sekunde of the four Filme that have been released so far. I feel that Gilroy did a slightly better job of meshing the plot from "THE BOURNE ULTIMATUM" with this film, than meshing the third film with the Sekunde one, "THE BOURNE SUPREMACY". A throwaway discussion between Kramer and Noah Vosen regarding Pamela Lundy in the third film finally came to fruition Von the end of this movie. The movie also explored - during most of its 135 Minuten - Cross' difficulties in dealing with his dependency upon the "chems". Like the other three Filme in the franchise, "THE BOURNE LEGACY" featured some first-rate action sequences. My Favoriten include Cross' use of the wolf pack to distract the Sekunde drone bomb from himself, the massacre at the Operation Outcome lab and the long chase sequence in Manila, the Philippines. But my Favorit sequence featured Cross' rescue of Dr. Shearing from the CIA assassins.

The best thing that Tony Gilroy ever did for this movie was to avoid making Aaron kreuz into a Jason Bourne 2.0. He did this Von creating kreuz as a completely personality - verbose, Mehr extroverted and an acute judge of character. But what really made kreuz worked as a character was Jeremy Renner's performance. Some critic once sagte that what was the point in watching a BOURNE movie without Matt Damon. Well, the first BOURNE production I ever saw was the 1988 miniseries starring Richard Chamberlain. And he was great. I also enjoyed Damon as Bourne, but . . . honestly? I did not really miss him, due to Renner's performance.

The movie also benefited from Rachel Weisz's excellent performance as Operation Outcome medical researcher, Dr. Marta Shearing. Weisz's Shearing was a quiet, intense personality, whose ordered life was thrown upside down Von her brainwashed colleague and later, the CIA. Weisz was exceptional in the scene featuring the CIA assassins' murder attempt on her. Mehr importantly, the actress and Renner proved to have a superb and somewhat humorous screen chemistry. Another excellent performance came from Edward Norton, who portrayed the ex-Air Force colonel Eric Byer. What I liked about Norton's performance was that he portrayed Byer without the occasional frantic behavior that marked David Strathairn oder Chris Cooper's performances. Stacy Keach, whom I have not seen in several years, portrayed a high ranking Federal official named Mark Turso. I cannot recall ever seeing him in a villainous role (at least not to my knowledge), but I must admit that I found his performance very impressive. Oscar Isaac, whom I last saw in "STAR WARS: THE FORCE AWAKENS" and "X-MEN: APOCALYPSE" gave an effective and subtle performance as the other Outcome agent, Number Three. It was nice to see Joan Allen, David Strathairn, Scott Glenn and Albert Finney again. But they were not on the screen long enough for me to judge their performances.

Like I had earlier stated, "THE BOURNE LEGACY" was not perfect. But I did enjoy it very much. And I am happy to announce that Universal has recently decided to green light a fifth film with Jeremy Renner reprising his role as Aaron Cross. His performance, along with Rachel Weisz and the rest of the cast, made this movie very enjoyable for me, along with a script that I believe was slightly better than the first and third movies. I only hope that the fifth movie will prove to be just as entertaining.