Who said that good film series should stop at three? The latest of the Bourne series and the first not based on Robert Ludlum’s Jason Bourne novels, The Bourne Legacy is less sequel, somewhat prequel and mostly spin-off – not necessarily tying up events which unfolded in The Bourne Ultimatum, but cleverly working together with the series' third film, rebooting the franchise but never aiming to re-brand it ala The Amazing Spiderman or Dark Knight Trilogy did with their superhero figures.
Oscar nominee Jeremy Renner eases comfortably into the Bourne world as Aaron Cross, successfully completing his transformation into a bonafide action movie drawcard. And while Tom Cruise is busy chasing divorce papers and Scientology, Renner is a more than worthy replacement as Hollywood's latest action movie favourite. Dare I say I found him more enjoyable and utterly forceful on screen than the original Bourne, Matt Damon, too? While the first Bourne films felt like I was watching Damon on unfamiliar ground, Renner seemed at home amongst every twist, turn and shoot-em-up in Legacy.
Renner’s Cross aka ‘Number 5’ is a member of Operation Outcome, and has his life changed by the events of the first Bourne series – some scenes simultaneously happening at the very same time as parts of third instalment The Bourne Ultimatum. Clever, and proof that the Bourne world still has some tricks up its sleeve, while the beautiful Rachel Weisz and guy-I-always-prefer-in-villainous-roles Edward Norton hold their own as Dr. Marta Shearing and depraved Eric Byer.
Perhaps it took the next best authority on Jason Bourne (other than Ludlum himself), screenwriter of first three Bourne films Tom Gilroy to helm Legacy and make it this convincing? Whatever the reason, Legacy never feels phoned in. Newcomers to the series best have that belated Bourne marathon before it’s too late.
Watch if you liked: The Bourne Identity, I Am Number Four
The Bourne Legacy is in cinemas now