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The Bourne Legacy

Confession time: I have only seen the first Jason Bourne movie and that wasn’t until it was on basic cable. So I am not fully versed in the Bourne backstory. Take that for what you will but I thought you should know. As for The Bourne Legacy, I was not blown away. For an action movie, it could do with a little less conversation and a little more action. On the plus side, the man in the middle of the action is Jeremy Renner and there’s nothing wrong with that. He plays his part with a focused intensity that is one of the best things about the movie.

Renner is Aaron Cross, a CIA operative who is part of the same super-secret spy program that produced Jason Bourne. It turns out, as the movie tagline says, “There was just one.” And the new class is even stronger and smarter than Bourne because of little green and blue pills they take to maintain the genetic modifications that make them super-human. When the movie opens, Cross is on a training exercise in the remote Alaskan wilderness and running low on “chems” as he calls the pills. It’s there that he discovers he’s the target of the very agency that created him.

It turns out when Jason Bourne is exposed, the man in charge of the shadowy black ops team, played by Edward Norton, decides the best way to handle the situation is shut down the operation and eliminate all of its assets. So they start killing off all of the operatives. But Cross is not easy to eliminate. After escaping an assassination attempt in Alaska, his quest for more chems takes him to the home of Dr. Marta Shearing, played by Rachel Weisz. She’s the program doctor he checked in with on a regular basis for bloodwork. After one of the movie’s best action packed scenes, where she discovers she’s a target for elimination too, the two of them end up on the run together. They head for the Philippines looking for a way for Cross to “viral out” of the program and not have to rely on the “chems” to keep his heightened mental and physical abilities intact.

All the talk of “chems” and “viraling out” and the code names for the different operations spouted constantly by Norton’s character make things just too confusing at points, especially at the beginning. As for the end of the movie, it comes abruptly at the end of a motorcycle chase scene that went on far too long for my taste. Of course, they’re setting up the sequel, but I would have preferred a bit more closure at the end of this one.

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