THE BOURNE LEGACY directed by Tony Gilroy, screenplay by Tony and Dan Gilroy based a story by Tony Gilroy, with Jeremy Renner, Rachel Weisz, Edward Norton, Stacy Keach and Joan Allen. A Universal Pictures release. 126 minutes. Opens Friday (August 10). For venues and times, see Movies. Rating: NNN
The idea of continuing the Bourne series after Matt Damon's exit no longer seems all that silly. There's life in this franchise yet.
Taking place contemporaneously to the events of The Bourne Ultimatum, The Bourne Legacy is directed by series screenwriter Tony Gilroy, who nicely expands the world he helped create.
Jeremy Renner and Rachel Weisz star as a super-soldier and a scientist trying to stay ahead of the bagmen as a spook (Edward Norton) spearheads the cleanup of various covert programs in the wake of Jason Bourne's rebellion. Of course, this can only be accomplished through high-risk international travel and ass-kicking, explosive action sequences.
Eschewing the kinetic sensibility of Paul Greengrass's sequels for sleeker, more carefully composed visuals, The Bourne Legacy finds new angles on the series' intricate mythology, with nearly every character complicit in awful things at some level, even those who think themselves above reproach. And Renner makes a great action hero, slipping into the role of Aaron Cross just as smoothly as Damon made Bourne his signature character.