This is your Bourne. This is your Bourne on drugs.
“An expansion of the universe from Robert Ludlum’s novels, centered on a new hero whose stakes have been triggered by the events of the previous three films.” – [IMDB]
Renner’s action is great, but the plot not so much.
Matinee it - it’s a good action movie first and it sort of stumbles into a Bourne film second.
The original Bourne trilogy was an interesting action-spy-thriller-mystery-drama-thing. We didn’t really know who Matt Damon’s Jason Bourne was, and through the films we learn about him as he does. The story is very different when it comes to Jeremy Renner’s Aaron Cross and The Bourne Legacy. The film starts off running parallel to the events of The Bourne Ultimatum, starting with the Waterloo Station incident, continuing through Bourne going to New York, and then it goes it’s own way from there. These events happen in the background, but they are there to tie the stories together.
Aaron Cross is an Outcome agent, an upgraded version of Blackbriar, which was an upgraded version of Treadstone, and apparently there’s even an upgraded version of Outcome. He’s been genetically modified to be tougher, faster, and smarter. The last being the driving force behind Cross’ actions in the film. You see, this modification comes with the need to take drugs, and when Bourne blows open Treadstone and whatnot in New York the drugs stop coming for Cross. This is the stumbling into a Bourne film part as well as where the title of the movie comes from.
In the end, Renner does an excellent job as an action star, as we’ve seen from him in Ghost Protocol and The Avengers. However, action alone does not an excellent movie make. The aforementioned plot that gets twisted into the Bourne universe is kind of lame, and there are some unclear things like who exactly did Edward Norton’s character work for? Despite all the flaws, it’s still a good action film, even if not the best spy film. In conclusion, it’s better than the new Total Recall.
Oh, and if you were wondering, yes the film does end with a new version of Moby’s “Extreme Ways”, just like the previous films.