Movie review: The Bourne Legacy (M)

 HOLLYWOOD is all about reboots and I’m not sure how I feel about it.

The Bourne Legacy continues a spate of reboots with more to come (Total Recall and Judge Dredd for example).

And while the Bourne world is maintained and new characters, a new plot and new actions sequences are able to grip audiences, the fact remains that since the original Bourne film in 2002, none of the others have come close.

At the time The Bourne Identity was a visual feast and excitement machine starring Matt Damon. 

But with each sequel, the plots and films became steadily worse.

Even though The Bourne Legacy goes some way to regaining lost ground, there is still some way to go.

Jeremy Renner takes the lead as Aaron Cross, a super-spy and assassin-in-training.

When the program that trains Cross is made public and shut down, Cross and biological scientist Marta Shearing (Rachel Wiesz) must flee to save thier lives.

The plot is certainly new and unique but an over-relience on information and plot twists from previous films mean that The Bourne Legacy quickly becomes confusing when it shouldn’t.

Renner is very apt and able in the lead role. He quickly rose through the ranks of Tinsel Town action stars with roles in The Hurt Locker, Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol and The Avengers.

All three have brought him to notice each time.

The Hurt Locker earned him an Oscar nomination for best actor; in Mission Impossible he proved his worth alongside Tom Cruise; and in billion-dollar film The Avengers, he brought to life comic hero Hawkeye.

At the other end of the spectrum, Rachel Wiesz has returned to audiences’ notice after a quiet few years since The Lovely Bones, The Brothers Bloom and Definitely Maybe.

Unfortunately for Wiesz her role as Dr Shearing, while intelligent and able, comes across as a shocked damsel in distress before showing her steady hand in chase scenes.

At the film’s helm is Tony Gilroy, who has written on all of the Bourne films but this is just his third turn at directing. 

His previous efforts of Michael Clayton and Duplicity received mixed reviews.

The Bourne Legacy certainly works hard to live up to the action side of the franchise but I will never be impressed by it.

In the third instalment (The Bourne Ultimatum), the action, chase and fight scenes were all filmed using handheld cameras.

It took me three attempts to finish the film because of the nausea that a constant, fast-moving and unfocused camera cause.

This chapter isn’t as bad as that Ultimatum but it isn’t much better.

True fans of the Bourne franchise should be excited that it has been rebooted and looks to be ready for a fifth film.

But if jerkily-filmed action sequences, overly-detailed plots and information overload aren’t  for you then give The Bourne Legacy a wide berth.

The Verdict: 2 stars.

- The Bourne Legacy (M) is now showing at Bendigo Cinemas. See page 3 of the Bendigo Advertiser for session details.

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