In 2012, the Bourne Legacy came out and got mixed reviews, the scale being tipped towards mostly negative. Empire gave it two stars, calling it a shadow of its former self. Matt Damon, Paul Greengrass and the main character leaving the series was not a good sign for the movies or any that should follow it. This is a shame, because according to the producers and team behind the Bourne movies, they had a lot of material planned for the ongoing story.
I have finally seen Bourne Legacy (yes, late I know), and I want to make an official statement: all of the panic that Bourne is dead is utter bullshit. There was nothing wrong with the Bourne Legacy; sure, it was a flawed film and failed to top Bourne Ultimatum, but every negative aspect of that film I predicted (and I expected the team to fail much more in those areas than they actually did). I managed to tie together three reasons, while the Bourne movies can continue, pretty much as they planned to, without causing much panic from critics or the audiences.
3 – THE DIRECTING FLAWS WERE PRETTY MINOR
When choosing who to follow Paul Greengrass as the director of the Bourne movies, the producers decided to take a risk and promote writer, Tony Gilroy, to the position of writer and director. In theory, it wasn’t the worse gamble they could make. If Bourne was to survive, it needed a story that kept to the roots and who better to lead the way than the guy who transformed the intricate and complicated plot of the books into a successful action trilogy.
And you know what, Gilroy did a terrific job. Sure, Paul Greengrass is missed in this film, but it is insanely unfair to expect a first-time director to come anywhere close to a legend’s work. Gilroy did the best he could and he only failed in minor areas. Every now and again, a scene would drag on too long, or he would cut away from a shot, when it should have been one, long camera angle. But, again, this is his first movie as a director, so we cannot doubt the guy’s abilities. If he is put at the helm of Bourne 5, I am confident he can improve in the areas he is lacking and bring us a fantastic action thriller.
2 – THE STORY NEEDED TO BE SET IN THE STATES
What I loved about the other films is the fact that Bourne went off all around the world in his quest for answers. We saw some beautiful locations, like Berlin, Tangier and even when Bourne hit America, it was done for all the right reasons and shot perfectly. However, Gilroy’s intended plot carried on so closely to the last film (the government clearing up the fragments on Outcome, Treadstone and Blackbriar), that it needed to be set in America. This hurt the movie, as location-wise, it got boring.
But it was a necessary evil. Gilroy knew that the film needed to get out of America. That’s why he made up some bullshit reason for Cross needed to get to Manila. And the second the action hit the Philippines, we were treated to an awesome half-hour of Bourne. The kind of half hour we wanted from the film all along.
And here’s the thing: the story is done with America now. Yeah, sure, we will have the boardroom battles, but Gilroy no longer needs to have Cross to return to the States. Therefore, the fifth Bourne should, in theory, feature several different countries, with exotic battles, rather than having a finale that makes the rest of the movie look dull in comparison.
1 – MATT DAMON IS NOT A IRREPLACEABLE ACTOR
OK, this is going to be tough to convince people, but the idea that Jeremy Renner taking over from Damon kills the franchise is utter rubbish.
I am not going to say which of the two actors I prefer (that would be career suicide), but the specific character of Bourne isn’t that hard to do. The guy is mostly silent and running away. Although Damon embodies the role, any male action hero has a decent shot of portraying the character. Renner does an incredible job here, bringing a humanity to the role that we could argue Damon didn’t have. He definitely does not hurt the movie.
Renner gets a lot of stick for the choices of movies he has being done. He gets type-cast as the tough, patriotic soldier, mainly through great performances in Hurt Locker and 28 Weeks Later. However, have you seen the roles he is getting? Hawkeye, Bourne’s successor and a member of the Mission Impossible team! If I was in Renner’s shoes, I would not hesitate before accepting those roles, type-cast or not.
My point is when Bourne 5 comes out, maybe people can sit down and enjoy the movie, rather than assuming it will be rubbish and coming home bitching about it, when they are being given a pretty, decent action flick. These movies are awesome.
*Shadowy Treadstone agent takes gun away from blogger’s head and backs away, silently.