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STAR RATINGS EXPLAINED
Unmissable 5 Stars
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Good 3 Stars
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Tragic 1 Star

POSTER ART
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FILM DETAILS
Certificate
12A
Cast
Jeremy Renner
Rachel Weisz
Edward Norton
Oscar Isaac
Stacy Keach.
Directors
Tony Gilroy.
Screenwriters
Dan Gilroy
Tony Gilroy.
Running Time
135 minutes

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The Bourne Legacy
We want Matt not gloss


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Plot
As Jason Bourne closes in on his identity in New York, an even shadier division of the US Secret Service decides to tidy up loose ends. However, experimental super-agent Aaron Cross (Renner) isn’t so willing to be trashed.


Review
The Bourne Legacy
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Listen up, people. Treadstone was just the tip of the iceberg. This goes further than you can possibly imagine. Shit has metastasised. And further words to that effect, eloquently discharged by a fulminating Edward Norton in the role of decent-actor-at-headquarters-scowling-at-computer-screens. The Bourne Legacy, with erstwhile Bourne-scribe Tony Gilroy replacing the (as swiftly becomes apparent) irreplaceable Paul Greengrass as director, and Jeremy Renner imitating the (just as obviously) inimitable Matt Damon, certainly does what is expected of it. We’ll dash about the globe with our persecuted spy, trashing places in fevered vérité, while the suits lock horns back home. But this sideways-sequel is so ham-fisted, so constipated with gravid exposition, you’ll be dashing home to weep hot, bitter, Damonless tears over your Bourne box set. We’re in a Bond movie and stuck with 006.

Renner, already facing the uphill task of not being Damon, finds no sure ground for his character. He can do the physical stuff, but his deadpan keeps slipping into a sneer. We’re unsure we even want him saved. Renner is at his best with a faint note of sarcasm; Damon’s flickers of existential crisis are beyond him.

You can partly blame the script. Rather than shackled with memory loss, Cross is a military-grade junkie — he and fellow ‘Outcome’ agents are hooked on “chems”. Blue and green pills that boost healing and intelligence like videogame power-ups. Sound familiar? It’s the crazy “headache” subplot from The Bourne Identity Greengrass sensibly jettisoned. As explained by mires of virus-related gobbledyspeak, Cross and less adept black ops miseries are nigh-on bioengineered X-Men. And Renner plaintively informs us that if he doesn’t get some blues quick, he’s in grave danger of going full retard. Which, frankly, is spoof-grade blarney.

As a scientist who knows too much and hooks up with our hero, Rachel Weisz at least contributes some emotional gusto, running the gamut from sobbing wreck to nervy sidekick to (potential) love interest, but she is basically there to cling to the back of a motorcycle.

The original Bourne trilogy, fast resembling neo-espionage classics, was set within sight of the real world — we felt the heft and hardship of the action. For all the whip-pans and juddering momentum, Greengrass convinced us of the gravity-defying leap from roof to window, or the terrifying brunt of an incoming Trabant. When we finally get to the action, Gilroy does nothing honestly. As Cross plunges between vertical walls, the view cuts away before he lands. As he slews a motorbike down a stone partition, our sight is obscured. Essential Bourne-thrills reduced to the shredded facsimile of a master-craftsman. Being kind, you might say Legacy lacks its own identity. The reality is, this shit really has metastasised. Cue: Moby.


Verdict
As earnestly as they have tried to continue the formerly excellent spy series, everything Gilroy and crew concoct only serves to mock the excellence and passion with which Greengrass delivered his films.


Reviewed by Ian Nathan


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Your Reviews

Average user rating for The Bourne Legacy
Empire Star Rating

RE: Empire wrote "SUMMER'S SMARTEST SEQUEL"...

I'm been saying this for a while now: get rid of Star Ratings and let people judge the review itself.     ... More

Posted by st3veebee at 11:29, 16 August 2012 | Report This Post


RE: The Bourne Legacy

Firstly, I would say Ian Nathan can't really complain about a word like “metastasised” to any readers who have digested his own style over the years. We all know that's precisely the type of term that would have moistened his crotch if only he'd beat Gilroy to the punch. Anyway...I'm metastasising my point... If you consider rne Ultimatum see a fairly uninspired, though quintessentially Bourne film that inhabits the recognisable mould of the franchise, but is effectively a film runn... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by demoncleaner at 01:07, 16 August 2012 | Report This Post


RE: Well, I enjoyed it.

Really enjoyed this movie, actually my favourite in the series, the action was awesome and story was gripping for me anyway, thought renner/norton were excellent and weisz was good, 8.5/10 ... More

Posted by sligonian at 00:18, 16 August 2012 | Report This Post


RE: Well, I enjoyed it.

went to see Bourne Legacy last night, it was a completely pointless movie, exact format of the other Bourne movies but without a decent lead man, dreadful fight scenes ,awful chase scenes and not a single character to be cared about. Did this guy even go hand to hand with any decent foe?.  Not to mention the dreadfully cheesy James Bond ending. Empire got this one spot on, for once.... ... More

Posted by Dannybohy at 10:16, 15 August 2012 | Report This Post


Well, I enjoyed it.

Worth leaving the house for? If you're already a fan, sure. But it's notably different from the earlier entries, and it won't be to everyone's taste. The Bourne Legacy is good. I don't think it's great, but it's certainly a solid thriller in its own right. ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by TheMightyBlackout at 23:06, 14 August 2012 | Report This Post


RE: The Bourne Legacy

Saw this today. Not awful by any stretch of the imagination, but it is rather dull. There's nothing in this film that hasn't been done in the Damon films. Mr. Nathan was pretty much spot-on with his review. ... More

Posted by MonsterCat at 20:21, 14 August 2012 | Report This Post


RE: The Bourne Legacy

L: cerebusboy L: spamandham nice to see a film getting panned for a change True dat. Did you know that Empire gave both Attack of the Clones and Superman Returns Five Stars? ote] What, you mean they're as good as k Knight Risesr, artway! ... More

Posted by chris kilby at 10:39, 14 August 2012 | Report This Post


RE: Once again - Empire has it wrong

Is there really such a thing as a "poor review"? (As opposed to a poorly .) Are there not just reviews you disagree with? A review is just an opinion after all. And while opinions can be misinformed or mistaken, they can't be "right" or "wrong." Can they? It all sounds a bit solipsistic, if you ask me. ... More

Posted by chris kilby at 10:32, 14 August 2012 | Report This Post


RE: Empire wrote "SUMMER'S SMARTEST SEQUEL"...

'Tony Gilroy replacing the (as swiftly becomes apparent) irreplaceable Paul Greengrass as director' well... Paul Greengrass didn't direct the first film in the series and that's just as good as the second and third films, so I'm not sure this counts for much. Besides, Greengrass went overboard with his shakycam. ... More

Posted by The Disciple at 10:26, 14 August 2012 | Report This Post


RE: The Bourne Legacy

L: spamandham nice to see a film getting panned for a change True dat. Did you know that Empire gave both Attack of the Clones and Superman Returns Five Stars? ... More

Posted by cerebusboy at 22:21, 13 August 2012 | Report This Post


RE: The Bourne Legacy

nice to see a film getting panned for a change ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by spamandham at 22:10, 13 August 2012 | Report This Post


RE: Shut up Nathan

It was a solid enough action film though thought the hand to hand fight scenes especially in Weiz's house were poorly filmed. It'd been better off just dropping the Bourne name from the title it just had too much to live up to. Have to say I was slightly dissapointed with Gillroy's effort especially after Michael Clayton. Solid 3/5 ... More

Posted by Wild about Wilder at 16:30, 13 August 2012 | Report This Post


RE: The Bourne Legacy

L: cerebusboy L: chris kilby L: MonsterCat Even with someone as talented as Jeremy Renner in the lead role, my interest in this film has seriously dwindled. 've liked Renner since s Lateris why I'm still gonna check it out. I don't really get the fuss, to be honest. He was ok in MI4, but Hawkeye was a spare part in the Avengers anyway! They should have had the romance subplot be between Scarlett Johansson and Gwyenth Paltrow instead. ote] What can I ... More

Posted by chris kilby at 15:00, 13 August 2012 | Report This Post


RE: The Bourne Legacy

L: chris kilby L: MonsterCat Even with someone as talented as Jeremy Renner in the lead role, my interest in this film has seriously dwindled. 've liked Renner since s Lateris why I'm still gonna check it out. I don't really get the fuss, to be honest. He was ok in MI4, but Hawkeye was a spare part in the Avengers anyway! They should have had the romance subplot be between Scarlett Johansson and Gwyenth Paltrow instead. ... More

Posted by cerebusboy at 14:57, 13 August 2012 | Report This Post


RE: Close to giving up

L: cerebusboy L: chris kilby L: waltham1979 So because this film got 2 out of 5...does that mean it is exactly the same film as Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen?! I'll give the review itself 4 out of 5; and even though I haven't seen the film I am going to rate it about 3 out of 5 because I want it to be better than Transformers 2, but not as good as Indiana Jones: Kingdom of the Crystal Skull. Additionally if anyone disagrees with me I am going to call you 'fan-... More

Posted by chris kilby at 14:54, 13 August 2012 | Report This Post


RE: Re-reviewed

L: Fallen Giant Attention anyone who said as good as step up 4? As bad as Transformers 2? You can't say oh I'm giving it 3/4 stars because Step up got two and it was way better than that. Because it's a completely different film in a completely different genre. So what an audience and a reviewer too is looking for in a dance flick is going to be different from what they want out of the next Bourne film. So each film has to be reviewed in context. So when Pirahnna gets the same amount o... More

Posted by chris kilby at 14:49, 13 August 2012 | Report This Post


RE: Correction

L: Cletus Van Damme Bourne was in a Volga, when hit by a black Mercedes. eally? What was the licence plate number? ... More

Posted by chris kilby at 14:48, 13 August 2012 | Report This Post


RE: Was this written by a teenager?

L: Cletus Van Damme I prefer my reviews written by an adult. Furthermore, Bourne was never hit by a Trabant. It was a yellow Volga. You just make shit up to sound intelligent. Why should I trust the rest of the poorly written review? lassic. Whengrow up I wanna be just like you. ... More

Posted by chris kilby at 14:47, 13 August 2012 | Report This Post


RE: The Bourne Legacy

L: MonsterCat Even with someone as talented as Jeremy Renner in the lead role, my interest in this film has seriously dwindled. 've liked Renner since s Lateris why I'm still gonna check it out. ... More

Posted by chris kilby at 14:45, 13 August 2012 | Report This Post


RE: Was this written by a teenager?

L: chris kilby That's enough to grow hair on a rock. I have to LOL at the notion of a reviewer inventing car knowledge in a bid to "sound intelligent" py07.gif]"Man, this reviewer sure seems to know a lot about Volvos. His opinions on films must be infallible!" ... More

Posted by cerebusboy at 14:43, 13 August 2012 | Report This Post


RE: Was this written by a teenager?

That's enough to grow hair on a rock. (Twenty years? You wouldn't get that for robbing a post office and taking a dump on the counter.) ... More

Posted by chris kilby at 14:40, 13 August 2012 | Report This Post


RE: Was this written by a teenager?

L: Cletus Van Damme I prefer my reviews written by an adult. No offence, but I think you'll find Ian Nathan has been writing first rate journalism for over twenty years. ... More

Posted by cerebusboy at 14:37, 13 August 2012 | Report This Post


RE: The Bourne Legacy

Even with someone as talented as Jeremy Renner in the lead role, my interest in this film has seriously dwindled. ... More

Posted by MonsterCat at 12:34, 13 August 2012 | Report This Post


RE: Close to giving up

HAWKEYE GOES HARDCORE IN SUMMERS MOST DISAPPOINTING SEQUEL! ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by Cool Breeze at 11:47, 12 August 2012 | Report This Post


RE: Close to giving up

L: chris kilby L: waltham1979 So because this film got 2 out of 5...does that mean it is exactly the same film as Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen?! I'll give the review itself 4 out of 5; and even though I haven't seen the film I am going to rate it about 3 out of 5 because I want it to be better than Transformers 2, but not as good as Indiana Jones: Kingdom of the Crystal Skull. Additionally if anyone disagrees with me I am going to call you 'fan-boy cunts' and cance... More

Posted by cerebusboy at 20:40, 11 August 2012 | Report This Post


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