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Movie Review: The Bourne Legacy

The Bourne franchise returns with a new cast, characters, and science-fiction plotlines. In fact, this movie really has nothing to do with Bourne at all, excecpt that they keep mentioning Matt Damon’s character throughout the movie, as if to say “see, this IS another Bourne movie and just as cool as the other ones.” Except that it’s not as cool as the other ones. The fact that the movie is peppered throughout with lines like “you thought Jason Bourne was the whole story? He’s just the tip of the iceberg!” makes the movie seem really desperate to prove to us that they can make an enjoyable Bourne movie without Matt Damon. I think they probably could, too, but this isn’t it.

The first, what seems like an hour, of the movie is Jeremy Renner, the new lead, climbing up a snowy mountain and through the cold wilderness. Why are they showing us this? To show how awesome Aaron (yeah, the action hero’s name is Aaron) is. Jason BOURNE couldn’t do this! Actually he could, they just wouldn’t have spent half the movie making us sit through it. Then we have Edward Norton trying to track him down, but not really doing much besides sitting in his office saying how awesome Aaron is and why he’s cooler than Bourne. Please like him! Please! Okay, he’s not Matt Damon, but he’s still really cool, right? Just give him a chance!

I don’t think Renner is the problem here – I think the movie is. Apparently there are pills that all the spy’s take that gives them superpowers. If you think that’s crazy, there’s more. A super-villain exists that they experimented on to give even more powers, and he’s tracking down Aaron. Yes, super-villains, super-powers, this all exists in a Bourne movie. I know these aren’t the most realistic movies, but this is taking it to a whole other level of implausibility. Jason Bourne didn’t need pills or super-powers to be awesome, he just was. Even with the pills, Aaron couldn’t carry Bourne’s jock-strap.

Most of this movie is so ridiculous that it’s laughable. For example, when Aaron brutally kills anyone who crosses him, whether they deserve it or not. Or the villain that, like Terminator’s T-1000, seems to be unfazed and unharmed by any amount of damage he inflicts. There are a few good moments here, but overall, the constant plea to love Aaron and appreciate this movie didn’t work on me.

Rating – C

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