‘Bourne’ to lose

Courtesy PhotoLatest hero: Jeremy Renner stars in “The Bourne Legacy

Courtesy PhotoLatest hero: Jeremy Renner stars in “The Bourne Legacy

“The Bourne Legacy” looks like a reboot, but it’s more of a sequel.

Either way, it’s a mostly unnecessary addition to the smart, exciting “Bourne” trilogy based on characters created by novelist Robert Ludlum.

The new movie’s story takes place about the same time as events of 2007’s “The Bourne Ultimatum.”

Matt Damon is not here, but his Jason Bourne is on the sidelines, appearing as a phantom in documents and news reports, and spoken about in hushed tones.

The focus is Aaron Cross (Jeremy Renner), another super-secret agent of the same ilk who takes special green and blue pills that give him a genetic edge. When he loses the pills in the field, he has to get more before his brain and body shut down.

Meanwhile, his covert operation is being terminated; all of its agents are being killed. He makes his way to the home of scientist Marta Shearing (Rachel Weisz), who likewise survived an attack on her lab.

<p>Together, hunted all the way, they escape to Manila, to another lab where they can make Aaron a permanent super-spy.

The screenplay, co-written by Dan Gilroy and Tony Gilroy, is of the highest showmanship. Intelligent and dramatic, it smooths over some hokey plot twists.

But direction by Tony Gilroy — who wrote or co-wrote the previous “Bourne” movies, and directed the excellent “Michael Clayton” — leaves something to be desired next to Doug Liman’s “The Bourne Identity” (2002) and Paul Greengrass’ “The Bourne Supremacy” (2004) and “The Bourne Ultimatum” (2007).  

“Legacy” is much longer than the earlier films, and its pacing feels off-kilter. It takes a while to get going, and the most exciting set piece, a motorcycle chase, goes on too long, and comes too close to the end. The movie ends too abruptly.

Gilroy’s action sequences jump all over the place. He’s clearly more comfortable with tense dialogue, characters in rooms barking at one another or studying computer screens.

For his part, Renner, though a bit cooler than Damon — and at his best in “The Hurt Locker,” “Mission: Impossible — Ghost Protocol” and “The Avengers” — is a more-than- capable action hero.

Overall, like the recent “The Amazing Spider-Man,” this new “Bourne” is mostly fine. Still, it feels more like the product of a business strategy than any genuinely artistic urge to tell a great story.

artsentertainmentMatt DamonMoviesThe Bourne Legacy

If you find our journalism valuable and relevant, please consider joining our Examiner membership program.
Find out more at www.sfexaminer.com/join/

Just Posted

People fish at a dock at Islais Creek Park on Thursday, June 10, 2021. (Kevin N. Hume/The Examiner)
What Islais Creek tells us about rising sea levels in San Francisco

Islais Creek is an unassuming waterway along San Francisco’s eastern industrial shoreline,… Continue reading

Organizer Jas Florentino, left, explains the figures which represent 350 kidnapped Africans first sold as slaves in the United States in 1619 in sculptor Dana King’s “Monumental Reckoning.” The installation is in the space of the former Francis Scott Key monument in Golden Gate Park. (Kevin N. Hume/The Examiner)
What a reparations program would look like in The City

‘If there’s any place we can do it, it’s San Francisco’

Officer Joel Babbs, pictured at a protest outside the Hall of Justice in 2017, is representing himself in an unusually public police misconduct matter. <ins>(Courtesy Bay City News)</ins>
The strange and troubling story of Joel Babbs: What it tells us about the SFPD

The bizarre and troubling career of a whistle-blowing San Francisco police officer… Continue reading

Real solutions to California’s wildfire problems

By Dan Walters CalMatters Physicist Albert Einstein is widely, albeit erroneously, thought… Continue reading

Bay Area soul and jazz great Ledisi headlined Stern Grove’s opening 2021 show. (Christopher Victorios/Special to The Examiner)
Sweet sounds, extra space at Stern Grove

Ledisi, The Seshen, La Doña play first free concert since pandemic hit

Most Read