Tag Archives: Tony Gilroy

The Bourne Legacy (2012)

<strong class="MovieTitle">The Bourne Legacy</strong> (2012)

(On-demand Video, December 2012) You’d think that the ending of The Bourne Ultimatum wouldn’t necessarily lead to a sequel, but there we have one: The program that created Bourne was only the tip of the iceberg, and other operatives are forced to react when their own programs (and selves) are terminated with prejudice.  Add a few considerations about artificial cognitive enhancements and you have a plot: a threadbare, familiar plot, but a plot nonetheless.  Fortunately, writer/director Tony Gilroy’s treatment of the premise is better than its foundation: The Bourne Legacy proudly continues its predecessor’s hyper-modern treatment of espionage thriller conventions with an acknowledgement to real-world moral dilemmas, high-technology used lethally and an exploitation of the possibilities of a network world under constant unaccountable surveillance.  The blend is potent, and the headlining presence of both Jeremy Renner as a capable protagonist and Edward Norton as his pursuer anchors the film into a credible reality.  (Amusingly, the film is able to use in a straightforward fashion a few speculative elements that would have been considered pure science-fiction a few years ago.)  For its first hour, as mysteries are still presented, The Bourne Legacy is solid action filmmaking: the action scenes are well-handled, the atmosphere is grounded and the plot mechanics are decently handled as the film takes place concurrently to The Bourne Ultimatum.  Things slow down to a far more ordinary result in the second half, as the plot stops advancing almost entirely and leaves all the screen time to an increasingly redundant chase sequence.  The final result may not be as compelling as what was promised earlier, but it’s still a surprisingly energetic follow-up to a series most thought was finished.  Don’t worry –from the unresolved threads left by the conclusion of The Bourne Legacy, it looks as if we’ll get at least another trilogy our of the Bourne name.