The major film critics and I had far more disagreements than usual in 2012. I missed seeing The Bourne Legacy on the big screen because critics thought it was mediocre at best. Since those same critics adored The Bourne Ultimatum, which I thought was fairly mediocre, and since Matt Damon, one of my faves, was not on hand this time, I could only imagine how bad The Bourne Legacy must be and stayed away.
On the positive side, as a result, my expectations were appropriately lowered. On the negative side, this is a big screen film and I enjoyed it more than enough to regret not seeing it at the theatre. Sure, the plot is wearing thin and there’s not much new here. And the nonstop action in the last half hour is boring, as such action usual is. And having this film take place during the same time period as The Bourne Ultimatum is more distraction than brilliance. And the ending is anticlimactic, which, given the fact that there isn’t much substance to the plot to begin with, is a major disappointment.
But the intense Jeremy Renner is a good choice for the lead role this time out, Rachel Weisz does well in the somewhat frustrating but therefore unique female lead role (who gets a fair amount of airtime), the film does have far less action than The Bourne Ultimatum (that’s a very good thing) while not sacrificing suspense (also a good thing) and there is some intelligence to be found here (even a few thought-provoking ideas).
Tony Gilroy, who wrote the other three Bourne films as well as this one, directed this time, and I, for one, consider him a far better director than Paul Greengrass, who directed the last two Bournes. It was such a relief to not sit through Greengrass’s constantly moving camera work and desaturated colours. In fact, the cinematography in The Bourne Legacy was one of the highlights for me, which is why I regret not seeing it on the big screen.
All in all, an enjoyable escapist entertainment which gets a solid ***. My mug is up.