“The Bourne Legacy,” based on Robert Ludlum’s Jason Bourne novels, has proved itself to be a box-office hit. In the debuting weekend, the film grossed over $38.1 million. Director Tony Gilroy enlarges the “Bourne universe” by introducing a new character, Aaron Cross (Jeremy Renner), who is deeply impacted by the events in the first three movies surrounding Jason Bourne, Blackbriar and Treadstone.
Renner delivers a gripping performance as Cross, the fearless, probing member of Operation Outcome, an American black ops program created by the Department of Defense. He is known as “Number Five” and is provided with a supply of pills which enhance him mentally and physically. On a training assignment in Alaska, the operative crosses paths with “Number Three” and is filled with questions about Outcome. After a series of curious events put into motion by retired United States Air Force Colonel Eric Byer (Edward Norton), Cross discovers that he is the only Outcome operative left. In order to survive the blowback put into motion by Bourne, who does not actually appear in the film, Cross must team up with Dr. Marta Shearing (Rachel Weisz) and travel across the world in order to survive.
Weisz’s performance as Dr. Shearing, an Outcome scientist with a high security clearance, is fantastic. The survivor of multiple attacks by the CIA, she is revealed as Cross’ only hope of survival. The film also includes some familiar faces from the first three films, such as Joan Allen, as Deputy Director Pamela Landy and Dr. Albert Hirsch (Albert Finney).
This movie is a creative continuation of the Bourne series, but it does fall a bit short of the hype generated from the superseding films. With gripping music by James Newton Howard and mesmerizing cinematography from Robert Elswit, “The Bourne Legacy” is certainly a must-see.