The Bourne Legacy
The Bourne Legacy
(Tony Gilroy, 2012)
Reviewed by Dave Lancaster
Summary: Not as charged as Matt Damon's definitive take, this Jeremy Renner fronted 'Bourne' is nevertheless as gripping as it is expertly crafted.
You can tell that Gilroy is the director of Michael Clayton; his film is less vibrant than Paul Greengrass' last two Bourne outings. There's a colder tone that dominates the complex narrative. One that feels less like James Bond and more like John Le Carre.
There aren't villains as such, just obstacles and diversions spread across a canvas of greys rather than black and whites. We don't feel that Edward Norton's shadowy intelligence officer is a bad seed despite him hunting the film's hero (Jeremy Renner). Rather it's implied that he has subscribed to an occupation that doesn't just write his paycheques but also writes his history.
The characters in The Bourne Legacy are, as the title would suggest, legacy bound. They're the unsung heroes and villains, which helps to make the action in the film that much more realistic and gripping. The two best action scenes in the picture are brutally low key - an icy massacre in a lab and an interrogation gone awry in a sprawling house.
Gilroy handles his actors brilliantly, it's the diversions like the extended motorcycle chase at the end that don't do his vision any favours. Another downside is that the final moments feel rushed: we are introduced to a bad guy who gets no lines and has to make do by looking menacing and just when you're hoping that the film is destined for a confrontational coda the end credits start.
But after that initial disappointment, it becomes apparent that this is closer to the truth of the piece. Some characters aren't supposed to meet. There's a detachment from convention that feels like 'Three Days of the Condor', 'The Conversation', 'The Manchurian Candidate' and those other great paranoia classics of the 60s and 70s.
Unlike Matt Damon's identity crisis from the first three films, Jeremy Renner won't find an identity, supremacy or issue any ultimatums but through this engaging new direction he and the rest of the cast and crew have broadened the horizon with admirable scope and surprising restraint. How many tent-pole sequels deliver more talking and less action? And how many do it this well?
Check out the theatrical trailer for 'The Bourne Legacy' HERE at Cinemas Online.
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