Friday, August 10, 2012
The Bourne Legacy
As the fourth film of a successful trilogy, The Bourne Legacy is the post-script to the series. What was particularly clever about this film is that unlike most franchise extrapolations, it both recognizes and honors the films that came before it. Cleverly interweaving footage from The Bourne Ultimatum, the final in the original trilogy, Legacy takes place concurrent to Ultimatum. It delves deeper into the overarching mythology and background of Operation Treadstone and Operation Blackbriar and depicts the other side of the organization’s reaction to the rebellion of Jason Bourne. We learned that Jason Bourne was not the only operative in the program in in the wake of his dissent the project is literally being killed off. Aaron Cross (Jeremy Renner) is one operative who won’t go away quietly and as he learns of his expected fate we are treated to the heart pounding excitement we have come to expect from this franchise. Along with Dr. Marta Shearing (Rachel Weisz), a neurobiologist responsible for much of the research behind the project, they set out to escape the clutches of the program’s administrators. Their group of adversaries, led by Edward Norton’s Col. Eric Byer arms themselves with every tactic they have available to destroy the duo. Cross has been a faithful servant to the program and when he finds out how he’s been taken advantage of, he vows to escape it’s grasp.
The paranoia that Legacy elicits is palpable – anyone can be watched at any point. The labyrinth of cameras around this country has the capability to watch and track your every move. Lately, issues of corporate “big brother” have taken the spotlight away from ideas that the government is watching your every move. In an era where your emails are scanned to pull out key words so ads are better served to you, where your online search history is recorded to collect both individual and mass data and where all your personal information is stored by google or yahoo or any other email client there’s a general sense that corporate America is hoarding your anonymity. While the Bourne series makes it clear that the government overlords are targeting individuals who have chosen to sign up for their program, it also makes clear just how easy it is for your every move to be tracked and traced without your knowledge.
As I walked out of The Bourne Legacy my gut reaction was to tell people that I loved it and I thought it was great. True to the Bourne brand, it’s an adrenaline fueled high impact movie that keeps the audience highly engaged. But the more I thought about it after I walked out of the theater the more I realized how many loose ends were left untied. Ultimately, however, I don’t think it mattered as the goal of these movies are to offer audiences an exciting two hours of action and suspense. And on that, this Bourne delivers.