The Bourne Legacy
The first three Bourne movies were based on the three books by Robert Ludlum with the same title. After Ludlum died in 2001, six more Bourne stories were written, this time by Eric Van Lustbader. The first of those six got titled The Bourne Legacy, and that has nothing to do with this movie, and also Jason Bourne himself we don’t get to see this time. A matter of keeping things simple?
The movie starts with agent Aaron Cross (Renner) who’s part of Operation Outcome, one of the projects that came out of Blackbriar and Treadstone which came to light in the previous movies. As these operations suddenly appear in the media due to the hunt on Bourne, Eric Byer (Norton) who oversees the CIA’s clandestine operations, decides to terminate Outcome as well as all parties involved. As such, Cross, who’s on training in Alaska, suddenly sees himself being chased by drones. He succeeds in making the CIA believe he’s dead and travels back to America where he wants to figure out what’s going on.
He arrives just in time to save Dr. Marta Shearing, a geneticist who gave the Outcome agents the pills that enhance their body and increase their IQ, from a hitsquad. As he’s almost completely depleted his stack of pills, Cross is in need of a new batch but as the project got shut down, this is an impossible task. Shearing, however, has an idea; in Manilla the factory that makes the pills is still operational and they have the original bacteria out of which the pills were made. If she injects Cross with this and he survives the procedure, the effect will become permanent and he won’t be depending on pills anymore. The CIA, however, has tracked them down and is organising a real manhunt in order to stop them.
What to think of this fourth “Bourne” movie without Bourne? Well, Jeremy Renner shows he can play an action hero without any problem, and also the rest of the cast delivers good work while the action scenes offer more than enough spectacle to keep you interested. Sadly enough Jason Bourne constantly remains lingering in the back of your mind and the makers aren’t helping as they put down too many links to the old movies making it hard to keep your thoughts focused on this one. We need to get used to Matt Damon no longer playing Bourne, but when the makers constantly put up references to the original Jason Bourne this isn’t making it easier.
Despite the absence of the real Bourne, The Bourne Legacy does contain just about all elements from the previous movies, meaning conspiracies and most of all rock solid action that pops off the screen. As additional downpoint we do have to say that the ending is quite abrupt, giving you the feeling more could be done. That “more” should in principle come from further movies, but seeing as the film in the US only earned about half of the third part in the series, it’s very much the question whether more Bourne movies will follow.
By itself, The Bourne Legacy is a fun action movie which after a long intro speeds ahead in full force, but then abruptly comes to a stop, giving you the feeling that it ends like a car that crashes into a wall. The journey towards that wall, however, is fun enough to not just drop this movie altogether.
There’s little negative to say about the image quality. The transfer isn’t perfect due to some noise present and that can be pretty annoying at times. On the other hand there are truly sublime scenes (the opening in the snow!) that come over natural and very detailed. The image is at times just great with perfect black levels and total absence of compression errors but sadly enough not constant enough to be called perfect over the entire line.
The DTS-HD 5.1 track we get with this release delivers an immersive sound image with which all channels are used at the fullest during the many action scenes, while dialogues never get overwhelmed by the effects or music. Again this is an almost perfect transfer, only the motorbike chase near the end doesn’t fulfill the expectations as there are a couple of moments that come over a bit less intense than other action sequences. All in all a very good track that will please you though.