When the “face” of this franchise, Matt Damon, said he wouldn’t return to the series unless the director of the two prior “Bourne” films would return, Universal had a choice to make. In the aftermath of this, Jason’s legacy was “bourne” with this, the fourth film of the series.

The Bourne Legacy (2012) Film Review

There has been nothing but trouble with the covert programs Treadstone and Blackbriar. Since Jason Bourne went off the grid exposing the programs dirty secrets, a horrible scandal rocks the CIA. This prompts senate hearings and a firestorm of media coverage. There was never just one program participant. Now, Aaron Cross (Jeremy Renner) is where Jason Bourne once was, ignorant. A brush with death makes him re-think everything. His training mission right now is on the mountains of Alaska but now he’s nearly out of his meds. Shortly after meeting with his contact, a drone kills that contact. This sends Aaron into hiding.

‘THE BOURNE LEGACY’ (2012). Jeremy Renner stars as a wronged CIA spy. #Moviearchives #Movies Click To Tweet
The Bourne Legacy

Back in the States, the Black-Ops chief running one of the covert branches, Eric Beyer (Edward Norton) tries to contain what could be a serious security breach. Back in the day, Beyer knew Aaron, and now Beyer wants him dead. Surviving the attack, Aaron makes it to the states. Desperation leads him to his doctor from the program, Marta Shearing (Rachel Weisz). But before he can rid his drug-addled mind of the drug regime dependency, he and Marta have to find a way to escape those wanting to silence them.


The Bourne Legacy

Before I get into any rambling rants or gushing (and believe me, there’s equal amounts of both), I just want to make one thing clear: this movie  is tremendously entertaining. When first reading about this addition to what has been a phenomenal franchise, I was skeptical about a lot of things. (I will try my hardest not to make too many comparisons to the original films either.) After seeing it, I feel both validated in that supposition, and taken by surprise. Here is why.  

Series scripter, Tony Gilroy brings Robert Ludlum’s novels to the screen with his adaptations and he returns to write and direct this, his first behind the camera. Unfortunately, having reflected on the film, I agree, more than I want to, with the mainstream PEOPLE critic. The story takes way too long to get things rolling, which is boring. It’s about thirty-forty minutes in when things get interesting! Once this happens, there is no stopping anticipation. One of the first scenes to do this is the country house scene. It’s a section of the movie that allows Weisz to show off her skills.

To be honest, I’ll still not certain someone else will ever fill Damon’s shoes. Subsequently, I saw Renner in MI:4 and The Avengers, both of which are great roles for him. Though I like Damon’s Jason Bourne better, this role isn’t always “right” for Renner. Does he do it justice? Absolutely! But there’s something “missing” that leaves us void of emotion. On the flip side, Weisz is fantastic; she plays a great female lead against Renner (she saves him on more than one occasion). Also, the rumors of Damon’s return in this didn’t pan out. Some people may not like this story purely for moral reasons.

The Bourne Legacy

The picture it paints of our government and how they treat the men who defend America is good idea for a political thriller at best and at worst, it’s enough to shake up our already fragile opinion of government. If you’re curious about this, I would suggest that you try and watch it as a separate piece of the “Bourne” puzzle, not a sequel. It falls short as that. By the time credits roll, my opinion improves, and I do think the ending is adorable without being anything special. Though not as impressive as it should be, The Bourne Legacy is a solid start in this new era. Still, an argument could be made that Renner is way cooler as Hawkeye.*wink*  

Content: Several scenes depict sometimes brutal hand-to-hand combat resulting in some severe injuries. The “suits” of the operation give orders to have operatives taken out; a man murders 5 of his co-workers before committing suicide. There are probably three “intense” sequences, one of which is a car chase. About four people die from the pills they are given. Commonplace profanity such as sh*t, d*mn and we hear abuse of deity like GD. The film is PG-13.

About Rissi JC

amateur graphic designer. confirmed bookaholic. bubbl’r enthusiast. critical thinker. miswesterner. social media coordinator. writer.


  1. I LOVED this movie. I may not be able to write about it until I see it a 2nd time, though. I like the first three Bourne films but I cannot STAND Matt Damon, so I was thrilled to see Renner step in as the "face" of the franchise. He was a big improvement IMO! Bring on a sequel!! :)

  2. Noooooo…. you went to see this movie?!!?!?!

    I am having a major jealousy attack right now. I cannot wait to see this. I'm obbsessed with Bourne Movies (even though this ones not about Bourne). Hopefully the big brothers will come up to the city to see it with me. :)

    Eeeeek. Jealous.

  3. Ruth – I liked this movie LOTS once it built up to its potential. Like you though, I suspect after a second viewing (where is the DVD already!?), I'll like it more yet.

    Really? You don't like Damon? He is an outspoken liberal but I think his acting is phenomenal. He owned this role. Renner played Aaron very well… but there was something that held me back from "accepting" him so readily. Still… I will definitely be on the look-out for part 5 which I suspect will be in production before long – just wish it was with Renner and Damon! *wink*

    Miss Jack – this is a great film. For viewers who don't like the original "Bourne" movies, then 'Legacy' is like a whole new series though you may be confused if you haven't seen the first three.

    If you ask me: Renner was just as if not cooler as Hawkeye. ;-)

    TJ – really!? They are my fave thriller franchise – each one got better. 'Legacy' is different than its predecessors so I hope you enjoy it!

    (Renner doesn't disappoint either. *wink*)

    Rachel – I know! I can't even believe that I saw it opening weekend – I NEVER do that. LOL!

    The "Bourne series" is one of my very faves so this was a "must-see" in theaters. Hope you can talk your brother's into seeing it – and you enjoy! :-)

    Great comments, everyone – loved reading them! Any other thoughts / opinions are most welcome… type away!

  4. Now, you know me, my liking of Matt Damon has been highly documented, so I have mixed emotions about seeing this movie. However, the trailer does look good, so I know my brother will drag me to it =P

    That being said, no one can fill Matt Damon's shoes in my book, even if that is never the intention.

  5. Though it may not be as great as the original franchise, there is still a great amount of thrilling elements in this film to keep any Bourne fan alive and well while watching. Also, Renner makes a great, new hero that we can all stand and root for, even if he isn’t the same exact character as Jason Bourne. Nice review Rissi.

  6. Ella – you and me both, girl! I think Damon is a superb actor! He can do any number of characters from historic figures to someone who is more "fun." Love that ability in him. I had mixed feelings about this franchise going on without Damon also but… it's good. I think you need to look at it more as an individual movie rather than a sequel because it doesn't compare IMO. I'd agree with you about not filling Damon's shoes – intentional or not, it doesn't work. ;-)

    Hope you and your brother enjoy!

    (And may I say: I am glad you are "back" from the Olympics. ;-D)

    Dan – once the first thirty or forty minutes pass, yes, this a one thrill ride after another. I think it is a solid action flick but I don't know that it lives up to the originals. (Again… once you get past its slow start.)

    As for Renner, he was great in the role. I think now he got away from the pill-popping (a side of Jason we never saw), he will certainly be someone we have no regrets rooting for because he will be fighting for better of his own free will, and not relying on a pill to survive.

    Thanks! I appreciate you stopping in – visit again sometime. :-)

  7. OH. MY. GOSH. You've not seen this series!? It's quite awesome. :-) I can understand where if one ins't into intrigue / suspense / mystery how these wouldn't appeal but if you like those genres – this is fabulous!

    Enjoy, Maria!

  8. I saw this movie a couple weeks ago and LOVED it. It had everything that I always thought the Bourne movies were lacking (okay, besides the pills, but those were understandable and he was trying to be independent of them).

    I loved Marta, I loved Aaron, just all of the characters were great (and Edward Norton played a really good bad guy). I really want to see this movie again. :)

  9. Good – I am so glad this was more to your liking, Lauren. I prefer Matt Damon's three titles but I think this film will grow on me after a second viewing. Once it started "moving," I really did enjoy it though like you I wasn't thrilled with the pills but I admired that the character recognized the fault and did become independent of them.

    Norton was a great bad guy – that is always important! :-D

    All in all, I am looking forward to the DVD release.

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