moviereview colin fraser film movie australia review critic flicks

There was never only one, and remembering that saves you from having to remember much else about the Bourne franchise. It's their get-out-of-jail-free card that will propel the series into an entirely new future (no prizes for guessing how this one ends) with or without Matt Damon, or Jeremy Renner for that matter. He's another genetically modified spy who quickly realises the CIA (led by the growling Edward Norton) has had a change of heart and is silencing its operatives. His need to outwit his employer and get a repeat of medication leads to a research doctor (Rachel Weisz) but within minutes they're up to their necks in bodies and bullets. Their objective is to remain alive and to do that, they must run. Fast.

The Bourne Legacy eschews anticipated globetrotting and supercharged action scenes for a more, relatively speaking, buttoned down experience. That said, the final motorbike chase through Manila's cramped and dangerous streets is inarguably adrenalizing, yet chopped by half it would still retain a healthy excitement without drawing a line under how short on development this instalment actually is. The film plays a nominal hand of cards and they're played early: shut down the project at any cost, trust no one. From here it's a routine game of cat-and-mouse given weight thanks to the sizeable talents of Renner, Weisz and Norton.

Assured if not particularly inspired direction by Tony Gilroy (who co-wrote the previous Bourne films) propels this story forward in an agreeably noisy fashion as Renner and Weisz get to grips with the gravity of their situation, and Norton keeps the trouble coming. The three share a chemistry that sustains the film without recourse to unrealistic sentiment. While The Bourne Legacy is a better thriller than many, coincidence, over-dependence on tired queasy-cam for 'immediacy' and without Paul Greengrass to inject his trademark flair nor Matt Damon's crushing presence, the film is unable to rise above the weight of its own reputation.

moviereview colin fraser film movie australia review critic flicks


Jeremy Renner
Rachel Weisz
Edward Norton
Scott Glenn

Tony Gilroy

Tony Gilroy


MA / 135 minutes

August 16, 2012
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