Movie review – Bourne for the chase

2012-09-22 07:20

Film: The Bourne Legacy (UIP)

Director: Tony Gilroy

Featuring: Jeremy Renner, Rachel Weisz, Edward Norton, Albert Finney, Stacey Keach and Donna Murphy

Rating: 7/10

The Bourne franchise is one that goes hell for leather from start to finish – though this fourth in the series takes a little longer than fans might like to find its stride.

Matt Damon aka Jason Bourne is absent in body, but his spirit drives this story, which takes the audience much deeper into the mechanics of the programme that created supermen from ordinary soldiers.

While the CIA spooks are trying to clean up the mess left behind by Jason Bourne, another of the soldiers in the programme, Aaron Cross (Jeremy Renner), is battling a pack of wolves in the Alaskan tundra.

When the bigwig spook Eric (Edward Norton) makes the ultimate decision to wipe out what he calls the outcomes of the project – Aaron, as one of them, evades his would-be assassins to become yet another agent gone rogue.

Rachel Weisz’s Marta finds herself in the crosshairs as one of the doctors who worked on the project and after what feels like an overlong lead up, she is saved by Aaron and the pair begin the fast-paced chase this franchise is so well known for.

Renner, who was nominated for a Best Actor Oscar for The Hurt Locker, follows up his action role as Hawkeye in The Avengers with this big job.

Taking over from Damon, who reinvented Jason Bourne, is a big job – but one Renner does with flair.

There is an eye-popping motorcycle chase through the streets of Manila, but writer Tony Gilroy – who makes his directorial debut in the franchise – repeats his brilliant rooftop chase scene. It’s no longer brilliant though when you’ve seen it before and splitting it into a three-man chase rather than a duet isn’t innovative enough to fool fans that it’s something new.

Gilroy, who did such wonders with the scripts of Damon’s Bourne films, does a competent job behind the camera.

However, previous director Paul Greengrass will be missed and The Bourne Ultimatum remains, well, the ultimate in this now four-film franchise.

I would put good money on there being a couple more – this one ends with a cliffhanger – and definitely one in which Damon and Renner join forces.

It’s just too tempting a proposition for Hollywood to resist.

» Follow me on Twitter @GayleMahala. Follow @City_Press

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