Inevitable fourth Bourne installment lacks originality and soul


Inevitable fourth Bourne instalment 'lacks originality and soul'… not to mention star of the first three Matt Damon

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UPDATED:

01:05 GMT, 17 August 2012

The total box-office gross for the first three Bourne thrillers was nearly $1 billion.

So
yet another sequel was inevitable, even if the original directors (Paul
Greengrass and Doug Liman) and star (Matt Damon) weren’t interested.

And
on this evidence, they were right to bail out. New director Tony Gilroy
wrote the first three movies and is content to recycle elements from
the earlier films, plus give far too much space to unintelligible
exposition about genetic engineering and American black ops departments.

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With Bourne missing, presumed dead, Aaron Cross, played by Jeremy Renner, is the agent on a mission to rescue medical researcher played by Rachel Weisz

With Bourne missing, presumed dead, Aaron Cross, played by Jeremy Renner, is the agent on a mission to rescue medical researcher played by Rachel Weisz

He utterly fails to add
any shocking revelations to the mix — except that Jason Bourne is only
one of several undercover super-spies the U.S. government is eager to
kill lest news of their existence becomes public.

With
Bourne missing, presumed dead, the new agent we’re expected to root for
is Aaron Cross (Jeremy Renner), who’s in Alaska on a training exercise
when his bosses decide to murder him.

Aaron
manages to escape to Chicago, where he rescues a beautiful medical
researcher (Rachel Weisz), also scheduled for assassination.

They
flee to Manila, where they are chased by the bad guys’ head honcho
(Edward Norton) and a medically enhanced Oriental assassin whom, for
unexplained reasons, the American authorities can’t be bothered to kill.
Like previous Bourne films, this is essentially a series of chases,
leading up to one long pursuit across roofs and streets.

These
scenes are efficiently shot and edited, and Renner does a lot of his
own stunts, but the final chase on foot and motorcycle outstays its
welcome by at least five minutes.

Matt Damon was not interested in getting involved in the latest Bourne project. Original directors Paul Greengrass and Doug Liman also declined taking part

Matt Damon was not interested in getting involved in the latest Bourne project. Original directors Paul Greengrass and Doug Liman also declined taking part

It’s
a big problem that the last Mission Impossible film and most of the
recent Bond movies have been more thrilling and visited a much more
exotic range of locations.

The ingredients fatally lacking here are originality and soul.

Jeremy
Renner is a fine actor but he doesn’t make you care if his character
lives or dies, while the burgeoning romance between him and Weisz is so
perfunctory that it may as well not exist.

At
135 minutes, The Bourne Legacy is at least half an hour too long. It
sags badly in the middle, especially when Gilroy puts in pointless
flashbacks to Aaron Cross’s early life.

The
ending — far too obviously indebted to old Bond movies — feels rushed
and inconclusive. It’s a glaring fault that there’s no attempt to make
Norton’s character suffer any kind of comeuppance.

The
best two movies in the series, the second and third, were brilliantly
directed by Greengrass. The Bourne Legacy isn’t unwatchable and will
pass the time on TV — but it’s blatantly obvious that its only reason
to exist is commercial.