The word on the street was that this flick was no good–reviewers seemed to take the position that it was some kind of profound insult to the good name of the original Bourne series starring the great Matt Damon.
Well, I’ve never been impressed with Matt Damon, and while I certainly enjoyed the Bourne movies, they were just action thrillers to me; fairly well written and competently made but not miles and miles above the rest of the genre stuff. So I was willing to give this new outing a chance.
And yes, The Bourne Legacy is not a great movie, and probably not a good one either. It’s not as good as the rest of the series. But it was likeable in an oddly plotless way. It was pretty to look at (particularly the climactic scenes set in Manila), and there was some reasonably interesting action, some mildly chilling conspiracy stuff, and a sort of convincing “war room”. I adore “war room” scenes. There were also some really funny moments of humor, although I am not sure they were intentional. (We all better beware of those Canadian forestry satellites.) And you have to love a movie where the main character’s cool spy car is a 2002 Buick Le Sabre, just like the ’96 I used to have.
But the main attraction of The Bourne Legacy is Jeremy Renner. If you are a fan of Renner’s blunt, square-jawed, strong/soft face, this movie gives you a wonderful opportunity to look at it for an hour and a half. I am really starting to like him, and his work, a lot. This movie did what none of the Matt Damon ones did: it made me care at least a little bit about the main character, and it wasn’t the writing that did it. Renner sold him to me. It took a while, but he did it.
In the end, though, I will remember most about this movie is the scene where Jeremy Renner pills a dog with extremely dramatic results. For what it’s worth, I’ve don’t think I’ve seen that particular bit of action on film before, and that has to count for something.