The Bourne Legacy chases a fix

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Starring Jeremy Renner, Rachel Weisz, and Edward Norton. Rated PG. Now playing

Oh, Matt Damon, why hast thou forsaken us? Sorry. That’s actually just a thought some of us have every morning when we wake up. But because Matt Damon's name accidentally came up, remember how in the first three Bourne movies CIA assassin Jason Bourne just wanted to know who the hell he was? That was cool. Well, in The Bourne Legacy, the guy not played by Matt spends the whole movie looking for a fix. They should have called this The Bourne Dependency.

So Jeremy Renner plays Aaron Cross, another assassin. It’s not Jeremy’s fault he’s not Matt and wasn’t told that assassins should be silent and soulful, not chatty. But the movie keeps reminding us what we’re missing by running part of this story parallel to part of The Bourne Ultimatum and showing Matt’s, er, Jason’s photo. Edward Norton plays a bad colonel who confusingly explains how if Treadstone, the black-ops government arm from the first movies, implodes, then other, even more secret-ops programs will go too. Yep. There are black-ops programs inside black-ops programs, like evil matryoshka dolls.

Never mind. Ed has new feelings about all his assassins, who all take pills to stay super. Note to assassins: don’t take the yellow pill! Aaron teams up with another endangered person: scientist Marta Shearing (Rachel Weisz, good in everything), who engineered all the pills. Really, Aaron just wants drugs. “Where do you keep the chems? I need the chems!” Maybe it’s all a metaphor for heroin addiction.

Writer-director Tony Gilroy cowrote the other Bourne films and wrote and directed the great Michael Clayton. He’s not quite as entertainingly hyperactive as Supremacy and Ultimatum director Paul Greengrass, but he has, weirdly, just copied the others. His big Manila chase sequence is like the Paris one mashed with the Tangier one. What? No Bourne Transcendency? And watching Marta shoot up Aaron, you’re thinking: “All this for his superman drugs?”


Watch the trailer for The Bourne Legacy.

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Charles Bukowski
There's a reason Jeremy Renner was put on the backburner for any leading roles in Hollywood. He's no leading man, and unfortunately for the Bourne series, they didn't know when to go out on top.
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