The Bourne Legacy (2012)

Rating: **
Review Date: 8/18/12
Cast: Jeremy Renner, Rachel Weisz, Edward Norton, Stacy Keach, cameos by David Strathairn, Joan Allen, Scott Glenn, Albert Finney

A pointless and incomprehensibly silly attempt to cash in on the Jason Bourne franchise, only without Jason Bourne involved. Apparently, Bourne wasn't the only subject in the Treadstone project, and the film opens with the aftermath of "The Bourne Ultimatum" (2007) forcing Edward Norton to burn the project to the ground. However, one agent named Aaron Cross (Jeremy Renner) manages to avoid execution along with doctor Marta Shearing (delightful Rachel Weisz), and together they make a run for survival.

The story is completely absurd, but the increasingly implausible action scenes are exciting and well paced, even though they're spoiled by spastic camera work and machine gun editing. The globe-trotting locations are beautiful and help keep your mind off of the plot. Jeremy Renner does a decent job as a chemically dependent killing machine, but it's adorable Rachel Weisz who steals the show as the vulnerable scientist who becomes a victim of the machine. Apart from a handful of action set pieces, there's not much going on in the film except lots of techno-babble and military speak. I laughed out loud at the new "ultimate weapon" from the top secret LARX project. First Treadstone, then Blackbriar, and now LARX. How deep does the rabbit hole go? Any bets that the next Bourne film will introduce an even MORE top secret project that's even DEADLIER than the previous three? Sadly, the most intriguing aspect of the film was how it briefly pulled in David Strathairn and Joan Allen from the previous chapter, which just reminded me of how much better that movie was.