There is a slight drought in Sci-Fi since Looper doesn’t come out here until October 31, so 2112.net and I went to see The Bourne Legacy for the October NSFCCDP outing. I like Jeremy Renner in Avengers as Hawkeye and was interested to see how he would do here. Interestingly enough, he is NOT Jason Bourne but rather Aaron Cross – agent #5 from the ill-fated Treadstone program. Now, I am coming a little late to the whole Bourne movie thing. Yes, I read all the books when I was a teenager and fascinated with them as well as the Clancy books which were all fashionable at the time (mid-80’s). But to be honest, Matt Damon is on the list of actors that I really don’t like all that much (with Ben Stiller in particular) and so I skipped the first three. Reading Wikipedia and other reviews, it seems I might have missed out, especially with the Bourne Ultimatum which apparently overlaps this particular film. I won’t re-hash the plot, but rather speak to what I liked and didn’t like about this movie. Renner’s performance was pretty good overall – for a small guy, he packs a lot of punch. The Alaskan mountain range crossing was exciting and interesting – although a bit pointless it turns out. In fact, we never quite learn what he is doing in Alaska, where the training is supposed to lead…we are left a bit in the dark about him. Meanwhile, alarms go off in Washington (ostensibly due to Jason Bourne’s New York escape covered in the Ultimatum movie) and he becomes a target. I thought the scene where he fights a wolf quite impressively shot. After the lab assassination, I am not sure that the press would have leaked the name of the surviving doctor, so Cross finding her just before the agents try to wipe her out was a bit hard to believe. Their platonic love affair was a little on the ridiculous side – a bit too chaste. I liked how the agency was chasing them via various surveillance cameras as they escaped to Manila. The action there was OK, but the (long!) chase scene was pretty interesting. There was this impression that the film had gone on too long so they quickly killed off the Terminator agent dude on the motorcycle (#2 of the “new” program) and sent off the lovebirds on a gasoline boat in the Philippine islands while the government wrung its hands over revelations and denials of Blackbriar, Treadstone, etc. Overall, I liked the action and the special effects. I had issues basically with the plot line which was hard to believe at several points (how could they possibly lose the entire Manila police force in a matter of minutes? who busted up his face before his interview where he woudl rather have stayed in the hospital) . The whole relationship between he and Byar is a bit strange because Byar seems to like him and feel sorry for him to some degree, but he is still driven to eliminate him in cold blood. The character of Aaron Cross is pretty one-dimensional and although Renner does a good job, it really doesn’t push him all that mich in my opinion. I’d say that the film is entertaining but that it will not go down as a “great” action film but more of an also-ran. It would be great to see a movie dedicated to Hawkeye to see what Renner would do with a more original script and a less constrained character to play.
My NSFCCDP rating: 6/10.