Tuesday, 21 May 2013

Book to Film Review: The Bourne Legacy

About the film
The Bourne Legacy is an action film that was released in 2012. It is a part of The Bourne series of films which are based on the books by Robert Ludlum. However, while the first book is called The Bourne Legacy, the film does not follow the same plot. The film has a rating of 12A and a run time of 135 minutes.

The Bourne Legacy runs alongside events from The Bourne Ultimatum, although this film does not follow Jason Bourne. Instead, the film follows Aaron Cross, a member of Operation Outcome. The US Defence Department runs a program where field operatives take a series of pills which enhance their metal and psychical abilities. While Cross is completing as assignment in Alaska, he runs out of pills and begins to worry when he makes his target and isn’t given anymore.

A reporter in England is assassinated due to writing an expose on other operations Treadstone and Blackbriar. As these two operations are publicly exposed, retired US Air Force Colonel, Eric Byer is enlisted to help out – to fix all of the problems. He believes that the only real way out of this mess, with researchers of Outcome and Treadstone being seen at public events together, is to kill every single operative under Operation Outcome. However, Cross does not die and thinking he needs more medication, visits the lab that he usually visits. Dr. Marta Shearing, the sole survivor of a colleague gone mad shooting is the only answer to Cross’ questions and with her in tow, the chase is on to find more meds and manage stay out of the way of the people trying to kill him.

What I thought
I loved the original three Bourne films but was really unsure about whether or not to watch this one. I loved Matt Damon as Jason Bourne and wasn’t sure what the story of this one would be considering that Jeremy Renner had the lead role. I have tried to write the plot synopsis as simply as possibly because quite frankly, this film was quite confusing at times. However, it actually started off quite slow, spending quite a bit of time in Alaska with Aaron Cross, even though there was no idea of why he was there for a long time. I also haven’t seen The Bourne Ultimatum for a long time, with it being released in 2007 so I couldn’t remember any of the plot from that film but you don’t really need to have seen it anyway.

There is a lot to get your head around in this film, which is why I ended up being quite confused. Operation Outcome is all about science and medication which makes field operatives stronger in every way possible. However, instead of just saying this, there is a lot of scientific mumbo jumbo being thrown around all over the place and I didn’t really know the difference between Outcome, Treadstone and Blackbriar. Because of all of this information being thrown at you, you do really need to pay attention. I was doing my hair and make-up while watching this film so no wonder I lost what was going on easily. I think once you get your head around what is going on and why the government want all of the field operatives dead, it is pretty easy going from there.

While Jeremy Renner is nowhere near as good as Matt Damon, he does an impressive job playing Aaron Cross. His character is an interesting one as he is the only one of the field operatives to not die but as well, he really doesn’t want other people running his life and having such a control over everything. While I have seen Renner in films such as The Avengers and Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters, I think he was best in this film by far. He plays an action character really well, does a good job in the fight and chase scenes but was also a likeable guy.

In other roles are Rachel Weisz as Dr. Marta Shearing and Edward Norton as Eric Byer. While I normally love Weisz, she was a bit disappointing in this film. As a doctor with such expert knowledge, working in an extremely high security job, she was so weak and annoying for a large amount of the film. I was expecting her to be a much stronger character. However, her time with Cross does toughen her up a lot and make her a better and more likeable character. Edward Norton is someone who can do no wrong in my eyes and he is wonderful as Eric Byer, a no nonsense, get to the point kind of guy. Now he is a strong character willing to do whatever it takes to get the job done and Norton does so with great conviction. He isn’t likeable, due to his job, but I could also understand the situation he was in and why he made certain decisions.

The Bourne Legacy is a really exciting and fast paced film. While some of it is extremely clich├ęd where it could have been more original, it was still enjoyable to watch. I wish it had been a little more simple to follow though.

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