“I very much love the Bourne movies. Well Supremacy is a little weak (relatively) and extra confusing than the others, but Identity and Ultimatum are fanastic, and among my favorites. This led to mixed feelings about a new Bourne movie with a new, well Bourne. Sorta Bourne. The books (I’ve only read the first one) did establish that there had been multiple agents, so I was definitely on board for bringing in a new one.
I really do adore Jeremy Renner, and from the beginning I was really excited to see what he’d bring to the franchise. But, he’s no Matt Damon, and this type of pseudo-spin-off can be incredibly difficult to get right. Well, as far as I’m concerned, I think they succeeded.
The reason I say this is difficult is that there’s a really delicate balance to be maintained. You want a unique story, but you want to tie it into the source material. You want a character that is reminiscent of your original, but an individual. So not a carbon copy, and not a polar opposite. You want a plot that follows similar structure, but again not too similar without straying too far.
Because the comparisons are gonna be inevitable, let’s just get down to it. Renner vs Damon. Renner was rougher with more attitude than Damon. His style is gritty. He also has a sense of desperation, but its source is different. I’d really love to see what would happen if you put the two of them together.
Continuing the inevitable comparison, Rachel Weitz vs Franke Potente. I liked the dynamic that was established in this movie. She wasn’t just a girl who was in the arguably wrong place at the arguably wrong time. She was connected, she had skills to contribute, and she also needed help. In other words, it was a mutually beneficial situation, which made much more sense and raised the stakes.
The people in charge were the same as always, action wise at least. Our major players were different. This time, they were led by Edward Norton. You don’t often see him take a supporting role, but it suited him (and the streaks of gray were a very nice touch). As is the Bourne signature, conversations on their side involved a lot of name dropping and worrying. But the substance of the conversation was very minimal and confusing. I also feel like they may have tried just a touch too hard to keep Jason Bourne in the viewer’s mind. It’s like they felt they had to justify this being a Bourne movie, but I dont think it was necessary.
One of my favorite parts of this movie was a really amazing motorcyle chase at the movie’s climax. Renner and Weitz did their own stunts for this, and it added something invaluable, being able to see our actual actors and their expressions. I also found the scene quite hot, with badass Jeremy wearing his glasses, manuevering the bike, holding his girl onto the bike. Temperatures were rising, and not just because of the heat wave outside.
The Bourne Legacy – \m/ \m/ \m/ \m/