The Bourne Legacy provides you with everything you have come to love from the Bourne movies. Rogue super agent on the run from his government watchdogs, spy agencies willing to do whatever it takes to hide their secrets, super agent saving the damsel in distress, wild chases and fight scenes. Other than the fact this movie focuses on the character Aaron Cross (Jeremy Renner) as opposed to Jason Bourne (Matt Damon), you probably couldn’t tell that you weren’t watching one of the previous Bourne movies.
The start of the movie runs almost parallel to the last Bourne film, The Bourne Ultimatum. While Jason Bourne is bearing down on Manhattan and his CIA puppet masters with the Treadstone project, Aaron Cross is out in the arctic performing training exercises for a program that can be best described as Treadstone 2.0 - that is until certain people within the government start to get nervous about the spotlight Bourne’s activities might bring on them and decide to pull the plug on everything which apparently in the spy trade means everyone is to be killed. However, things go awry when the attempt to kill Cross fails and he ends up going on the run.
During the course of the movie, Cross saves one of the female scientists involved with the project who was also targeted to be killed. Similar to the relationship between Bourne and Nicky Parsons (Julia Stiles) in the earlier films, Cross forces Marta Shearing (Rachel Weisz) to look outside her narrow role to see the results of her actions. In turn, she tries to help him overcome the program’s dependency protocols.
Edward Norton portrays Eric Byer, the go-to guy and yet another inter-related U.S. intelligence agency, with impatience, force, and self-possession. Byer deploys assets like chess pieces across the world in his attempt to contain the damage to U.S. intelligence gathering - citing his patriotism when making the hard decisions.
As I mentioned before, this movie has everything you have come to expect from the Bourne movies. The problem is the lack of originality. The premise of the film probably started with a studio exec’s comment - what if we explore the impact of Bourne on the other CIA programs? As my wife put it, this movie makes for some mindless brain candy but if you are looking for any kind of new or original twists then I am afraid you are going to come away from the movie feeling disappointed. In fact, you may need to accept some illogical plot points as necessary to facilitate the story.