The Bourne Legacy
Premieres Tuesday December 11 on Rogers On Demand, and will remain available until May 29, 2013.
The Bourne Identity series, with Matt Damon in the lead, redefined the spy thriller with a gritty realism that even forced James Bond to modernize and shed its indestructible, unscathed tuxedo.
With The Bourne Legacy, writer/director Tony Gilroy (who also scripted the three previous films) takes a novel approach by setting the film concurrently with the events of the first film in the series, The Bourne Identity.
As amnesiac CIA super-agent Jason Bourne goes rogue, appearing only in photos, Gilroy introduces Aaron Cross (The Hurt Locker and The Avengers’ Jeremy Renner). Like Bourne, Cross possesses enhanced intelligence and reflexes but with one major exception: In order to remain a modern-day Captain America, he maintains a regimen of red and blue pills, and with the CIA after him, his stash is running low.
This sets Legacy‘s cat-and-mouse tone. What its first act lacks in action sequences is well balanced with tense political build-up as an overzealous colonel (Edward Norton) plans to wipe out anyone associated with the program.
But once Cross saves his inadvertent sidekick, Dr Marta Shearing (Rachel Weisz), from a forced suicide attempt, the film’s rapid-fire pace is unrelenting, culminating in one of the best motorcycle chases seen in recent years.
Renner, rugged and chiselled, is in some ways a more logical choice to Damon’s pretty-boy Bourne and much more believable running across a rooftop, one of the ubiquitous staples of the decade-old series.
With Gilroy at the helm, Renner’s performance shows that a franchise can move into different directions and survive without its titular character.