100 movies: The Bourne Legacy

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100 movies of 2012
Every year I set myself a target, usually of about 100, of films to watch. These are new films. Not new, new films. But films that are new to me. Any time I’ve seen a new one, I post a bit of a brain dump of my thoughts on the film here. Enjoy!

The Bourne LegacyThe Bourne Legacy (13/08/12)

An expansion of the universe from Robert Ludlum’s novels, centered on a new hero whose stakes have been triggered by the events of the previous three films.

This is one of those films that inspires neither strong outrage nor strong joy. It just is. Films like that are incredibly hard to talk about.

The Bourne Legacy is meant to be a new jumping off point for the Bourne franchise but for me, it felt like a remake of The Bourne Identity. Sometimes it almost felt like there were scene for scene do-overs. I did appreciate the opening of Legacy mirroring the opening of Identity though. With Aaron Cross’ seemingly lifeless body floating in water. That was a nice throwback. But the rest of the film pretty much felt like it took Identity as a template. You’ve got the super powered agent. An innocent woman caught up in it. Serious conversations happening in the car between them. Nameless agents chasing them. The scene in the hotel with Marta and Aaron in front of the mirror. I was half expecting them to cut Marta’s hair off. Not that I would have been surprised if they did. Even the ending felt very much like Identity.

What it didn’t share with Identity was the energy, and funnily enough, the identity. The Bourne Identity felt like a very rough around the edges action thriller. Small, but it skipped along brilliantly. Legacy probably began to bore me. I was sitting there wishing for something to happen. When the action did kick in, it was fine. But it felt like it needed the action.

The saving grace for this film is Jeremy Renner and Rachel Weisz. They’re brilliant. It’s just a shame the film around them wasn’t better. Renner’s Aaron Cross is instantly more human and relatable than Matt Damon’s Jason Bourne. But Jason Bourne has more of a journey in the first film alone than Aaron did. There wasn’t that much development. Just revelations.

Is it me or did they showcase all the best stunts and sequences in the trailers? I was expecting more but the more never occurred. Also on the marketing side of things, I have a question about the posters. The phrase ‘There Was Never Just One’. Now before the film I always thought that referred to the fact that there was never just one Jason Bourne. I rolled my eyes and yelled out ‘DUH’! We know this from the first film! After the film, I’m wondering if the phrase is actually implying that there was more than just one Treadstone-esque project. *shrug*

I’m really torn on what rating to give this film. It was slow. Had bad pacing. Didn’t really add much to the Bourne franchise. But Renner was great. So I went back to my list of films this year to get a gauging point. I definitely enjoyed it more than a lot of the films I’ve given 2/5 but definitely less than some of the films I’ve given 3/5. I’m torn! So I’ve gone soft. Blame Renner.
Rating: 3/5

Read on to see all the films watched this year…

62 Films so far this year

  1. The Tourist 1/5 (02/01/12)
  2. The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo 5/5 (03/01/12)
  3. World’s Greatest Dad 2/5 (14/01/12)
  4. Haywire 3/5 (19/01/12)
  5. Dead Snow 3/5 (20/01/12)
  6. The Artist 5/5 (21/01/12)
  7. Priest 2/5 (05/02/12)
  8. The Muppets 5/5 (15/02/12)
  9. Faster 4/5 (19/02/12)
  10. Chronicle 4/5 (22/02/12)
  11. Safe House 4/5 (24/02/12)
  12. Reservoir Dogs 4/5 (25/02/12)
  13. This Means War 4/5 (02/03/12)
  14. The Royal Tenenbaums 3/5 (03/03/12)
  15. Reign of Fire 3/5 (04/03/12)
  16. Dear John 2/5 (04/03/12)
  17. Road to Perdition 5/5 (05/03/12)
  18. The Three Musketeers 3/5 (06/03/12)
  19. The Eagle 2/5 (10/03/12)
  20. Everybody’s Fine 2/5 (14/03/12)
  21. Frankenstein 4/5 (15/03/12)
  22. Love and Other Drugs 2/5 (15/03/12)
  23. You Will Meet a Tall Dark Stranger 2/5 (17/03/12)
  24. The Big Lebowski 5/5 (18/03/12)
  25. The Hunger Games 3/5 (23/03/12)
  26. Headhunters 4/5 (07/04/12)
  27. Super 1/5 (07/04/12)
  28. The Cabin in the Woods 5/5 (13/04/12)
  29. Watchmen 4/5 (14/04/12)
  30. The Hurt Locker 3/5 (21/04/12)
  31. Avengers Assemble 5/5 (26/04/12)
  32. 22 Bullets 2/5 (28/04/12)
  33. Bad Teacher 1/5 (29/04/12)
  34. Red Riding Hood 1/5 (04/05/12)
  35. A Perfect Getaway 4/5 (05/05/12)
  36. Ca$h 1/5 (13/05/12)
  37. Kung Fu Panda 2 3/5 (14/05/12)
  38. Everything Must Go 2/5 (24/05/12)
  39. New York, I Love You 2/5 (25/05/12)
  40. Beginners 4/5 (26/05/12)
  41. Prometheus 4/5 (03/06/12)
  42. The Tree of Life 2/5 (04/06/12)
  43. The Lovely Bones 3/5 (05/06/12)
  44. Snow White and the Huntsman 3/5 (06/06/12)
  45. The Devil’s Backbone 4/5 (07/06/12)
  46. Britain in a Day 5/5 (11/06/12)
  47. The French Connection 4/5 (15/06/12)
  48. Insomnia 3/5 (16/06/12)
  49. Rebel Without a Cause 4/5 (22/06/12)
  50. A Lonely Place to Die 3/5 (26/06/12)
  51. Killer Joe 3/5 (29/06/12)
  52. The Amazing Spider-Man 4/5 (03/07/12)
  53. Raising Arizona 4/5 (04/07/12)
  54. Horrible Bosses 4/5 (06/07/12)
  55. Broadcast News 3/5 (07/07/12)
  56. We Need to Talk About Kevin 4/5 (07/07/12)
  57. Miller’s Crossing 4/5 (18/07/12)
  58. The Dark Knight Rises 5/5 (20/07/12)
  59. 21 Jump Street 5/5 (29/07/12)
  60. The Mystery Team 3/5 (07/08/12)
  61. The Help 4/5 (11/08/12)
  62. The Bourne Legacy 3/5 (13/08/12)


  1. You’re way more generous! 🙂 But I get it, you love Renner. For me, I thought Rachel was the saving grace, he’s just ok, serviceable I’d say. This movie doesn’t quite change my mind about him.

    • This is the second film he’s been the saving grace for me. 28 Weeks Later was the other.

      I’ve spent the day umming and ahhing about my score. The more I think about it the more I think I AM being totally generous!

  2. Good review Jaina. This film worked well it’s thrills and story, but I don’t think it’s necessarily in the same boat as the original franchise. However, I would like to see this story move on, almost to the point where we get to see a Damon/Renner team-up flick. Now that would be awesome!

    • That could be awesome, but somehow I just can’t see it happening. I think Damon’s said goodbye to the franchise and I’m not sure he’d be willing to go back to it without Greengrass. And also the fact that this film isn’t doing too great critically isn’t a great call for him to go back to it either.

  3. Well…I wasn’t expecting that whatsoever. I can see your point with this movie being a remake of the first movie. It kinda seems that way from the commercial. I’m actually heading down to watch that movie right now. I never saw the first movie, so I’m guessing I’m going to suckered into this movie very easily. LOL Great review.

  4. Ah, I hate mediocre films. Good to know at least Renner and Weisz are good. The trend of including the best moments in trailers is really annoying.

    • Remember when trailers were just snippets? You’d get to the film and still be surprised? I miss those days.

  5. Oh dear. I was looking forward to this film. I do like Renner. Thought he was the best thing in MI4. Great in The Hurt Locker too. But I will feel annoyed if it’s just a rehash of Identity.
    By the way, if you find a trailer for a film from the fifties on YouTube you will see that the trailers then basically gave away ten times as much and were three times as long. Funny how fashions change and then come around again. Remember the bloke who used to voice over movie trailers?

    • I loved Renner in this one episode of old TV show Angel that he did. He was great! I wanted him to come back. He never did 🙁 Glad that his movie career is really finally kicking off. Thought he was a great addition for Mi4, but that film didn’t do much for me.

      I’ll have to look at some of those trailers! I do remember movie voice over man. Wow… let’s hope they never give him the job back.

  6. I haven’t seen it yet, but the trailer did look amazing and my hubby even re-wound the DVR just so we could watch it again. Too bad it wasn’t as good as it could be. I’d wait for DVD then. Well, I’m kinda glad it didn’t outshine Identity b/c I loved Matt Damon as Bourne and the entire series!

    • All the good bits are in the trailer. SUCH a shame they did that. Honestly.

      I’m a massive fan of the first Bourne trilogy. I loved Damon as Bourne too. Such a classy set of action/thriller/spy films.

  7. I think I will take a pass and wait to catch this streaming at some point. I was a bit surprised to read that the best action scenes were in the trailers. If there was was one thing I thought this film would be filled to the brim with it was action.

    • Sadly not. Unlike the previous Bourne films where they’d be a nice sprinkling of action and then BAM a huge, brilliant set piece. This has 3 major set pieces, though none of them any bigger than my thumb.

      I wanted this to be much better than it turned out.

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