‘The Bourne Legacy’ is the most disappointing film I’ve seen since that porno I watched last night

by Ben

the-bourne-legacy-poster03

There are only a handful of films I consider better than the original Bourne trilogy; Avatar, Taken, and perhaps Casino Royale all strike me as Top Five material. It’s a short list in any case. I knew coming into Bourne Legacy that I was going to be disappointed. In fact, that’s why it’s taken me nearly six months to get around to watching it, because I knew no matter how good or bad it was, it would never measure up to Matt Damon’s translation of Ludlum’s universe.

But I never expected to be this disappointed.

Even from the opening scenes it’s obvious that Tony Gilroy simply has no clue how to create magnetism. There’s a total lack of humanization of Jeremy Renner’s Aaron Cross character, and it totally dismantles any effort from there out. That’s what made the Trilogy so gravitational; we got to see the growth, maturation, and release of Jason Bourne into the world at large. In Legacy, it’s all presumed that Renner’s character is a Good Guy. And unfortunately, without that human element, there’s really no draw to feel one way or the other. We all know he’s going to kick some ass in the gritty style perpetuated by the film’s predecessors, but why and who cares are entirely absent.

I feel the same problems here are what ruined Zero Dark Thirty. It’s clear that Renner’s character is supposed to be the protagonist, but there’s no foundation from which to form opinion. And that’s not even the worst part; the quick-cut action scenes are utterly boring in comparison to the Trilogy’s. There’s the chop-edited fight scenes, but they’re unexciting and cut in a way which leaves a lot to assumption. There’s the obligatory car chase, but this time it attempts to outdo Ultimatum‘s motorbike scene but it fails completely. It’s not energetic. It just feels flat.

In fact, the entire outing feels flat. All the requisite parts are in place, and naturally they should be considering that Gilroy worked on the Trilogy as a writer. But they’re executed in such a way that it seems as if Gilroy just sort of assumed they would fit together without much effort. And yet they don’t. I find Renner’s character uninteresting and Rachel Weisz even more so. It feels as if she’s only there for window dressing, as an apparent compliment to Franke Potente and/or Julia Stiles. But she fails.

The Bourne Legacy fails. I haven’t been this disappointed by an exercise since Wrath of the Titans, and at least that had loud noises and flashy effects going for it. This one’s flat, trite, and by attempting to play concurrent to the Trilogy (both stylistically and narratively) it succeeds in nothing.

At least I feel like rewatching the Trilogy. Time to get my Collector’s Edition bank box Trilogy off the shelf and remember why I consider them among my favorites. Because in all honesty, fuck Legacy. If it didn’t have the Bourne moniker, it would have just been another amateur-hour thriller.

Conclusion: It’s not bad, it’s just not Bourne. 2.0/5.0

Advertisements