I thought I would be writing a second opinion review of The Bourne Legacy this summer. I’m usually the action snob around here, finding the glory in the likes of Expendables 2 and Universal Soldier: Day of Reckoning and saying Skyfall and The Amazing Spider-Man aren’t good enough. In the case of The Bourne Legacy, I can only echo Bibbs’ exact thoughts on the corrupt spinoff attempt. We at CraveOnline would like to remind our readers that The Bourne Legacy is no good, so in light of its Blu-ray release I will elaborate on exactly what this misstep represents for Hollywood franchises.
Jeremy Renner plays Aaron Cross, another Treadstone agent operating at the same time as Jason Bourne. When Blackbriar starts canceling the Treadstone program, Cross teams up with a scientist (Rachel Weisz) to find his superspy meds and escape execution. It is a pointless way of saying, “Well, here’s another one,” despite a few cute connections with Ultimatum, and it’s just plain boring. The few action scenes have no memorable rousing moments like the book fight in Ultimatum or the car chase in Supremacy.
The key protectors of the Bourne franchise - Matt Damon, Paul Greengrass and even Doug Liman - insisted they would not make more Jason Bourne movies because his story had been told. He found out who he is. You can’t tell any more stories about him. They conveniently started to change their tune when it looked like Legacy would be a hit and could maybe team Damon and Renner up for Bourne Five, but let me stick on their previous point.
I trust storytellers to come up with more good stories. They wrap up one story after three films, I believe in them to come up with another good journey for Jason Bourne. Now some fans can be fair weather about this. They want another story until you tell a story they don’t like, then they get angry about it. So I can see where some filmmakers might not want to risk it, and quit while they’re ahead.
This is what you came up with as a better alternative to Jason Bourne post-identity? Liman is still executive producer and producer Frank Marshall and screenwriter Tony Gilroy (who directed Legacy) collaborated and authorized this spinoff and I call bollocks. This was every bit as corrupt as the shameless sequel you claimed to avoid. Now go back and think of a reason why Jason Bourne has the only secret knowledge that can prevent the next action-packed threat.
The film looks great on Blu-ray. It’s clear, sharp and full of tons of detail. You’ll see the texture on the walls and floors, the crust built up on a car trunk and debris flying in the gunfights. There are some pretty mountains and exotic Manila streets for an HD travelogue. If you insist on seeing for yourself if everything we’re warning you about is true, at least it will look good.
The bonus features are mercifully brief, all under 10 minutes, most barely more than five. All basic self-promoting spots mixing B-roll and sound bites as the filmmakers explain their brilliant ideas for continuing the series and creating the action scenes. The commentary track features Tony and Dan Gilroy plus second unit director Dan Bradley, editor John Gilroy and more filmmakers. It moves and is full of information on how they shot each scene. They sound awfully proud of themselves though.
Three deleted scenes are basically as inconsequential as the movie. The first scene with Cross being pulled over by a cop is a good little suspense scene with good dialogue, but doesn’t result in anything. An extra Edward Norton exposition scene is totally unimportant, and the bonus Albert Finney scene is just some emoting shoehorned into the scene. If you’re wondering why he was only in one scene of the movie, the reason is he had another pointless scene too.
The Bourne Legacy is on Blu-ray December 11. CraveOnline writers concur when we say skip it.
Read CraveOnline's original review of The Bourne Legacy.
Fred Topel is a staff writer at CraveOnline. Follow him on Twitter at @FredTopel