The Bourne Legacy (BLU-RAY)

The Bourne Legacy

On Blu-Ray: 
Tuesday, December 11, 2012
Running Time: 
2 Hours, 15 Minutes
Did You Know?

Matt Damon does not physically appear in this film.

If you know me, you probably already know that it took me years after the Bourne films came out to even warm up to consider watching them. My beef was with the actor Matt Damon and not the films themselves. My issue with Damon is that no matter what movie he’s in he always has to be the fastest, strongest, smartest guy in the room. It seemed like overkill having him in this film where he was all three of those things at all times. Eventually I did see the films and then moved on.

When I found The Bourne Legacy in my work pile I had my hopes. This was going to be a new film with a new actor and taking place within the same world, but with an entirely new character’s plight. Sure, I haven’t seen anything with Jeremy Renner in it that has me spewing the same kind of hype you find about the guy everywhere else, but I was still hopeful.

The reboot, or spin-off if you will, of the Bourne franchise begins with Aaron Cross (Jeremy Renner; The Avengers) deep in the snowy wilderness of Alaska. He’s not sure if his skills are being re-evaluated, if this is some sort of new training exercise, or if he’s experiencing a slap on the wrist. In any case he’s trekking through the snowy terrain, fighting off the bitter cold and completing check marks, and there is a pack of wolves following him. Sucks to be Aaron Cross.

Meanwhile back in the states. Ric Byer (Edward Norton; Fight Club), Mike Turso (Stacy Keach; American History X), and Terrence Ward (Dennis Boutsikaris; W.) have come together to discuss the possible fallout over a video that has been leaked onto the internet that exposes a relationship between two power players in the Blackbriar and Treadstone programs, forcing the trio to close down both operations and dispose of the programs participants with extreme prejudice.

One by one the agents in these programs fall by the wayside. The only two remaining agents are located deep in the heart of the Alaska wilds, Cross and an agent named Outcome 3 (Oscar Isaac; Sucker Punch). The attempt to be rid of the final two agents is only half successful leaving Cross to go on the run.

Director and co-writer Tony Gilroy (Duplicity) and writer Dan Gilroy (The Fall) offer up a pretty decent new beginning to the Bourne franchise, inspired by the original characters and scenarios from the Robert Ludlum novels. Right off the bat you’re clued in on the immediacy of the story unfolding before you. Cross is a character that is instantly recognizable as not being 100% on board with the program, a character with human quality indecision, in contrast with the organization of men back in the states who see the scenario in a red, white, and blue hue. They neither care about the loss of life or the consequences of making such personal decisions. It all comes down to a matter of cleaning up any evidence that they have been playing outside of the rules of morality their actions are suppossed to be protecting.

As the film unravels and we see more of Cross’ back story we start to understand his character a bit more, his motivation and drive. At times it seems a bit convoluted but you roll with it knowing that you’ve come this far and the Gilroy’s have given reason to every revelation. It’s a real cerebral film with a touch of action and a lot of cat and mouse escapades that keep you on your toes.

Unfortunately somewhere past the middle of the film I was a bit tired of the chases. The suspense of the film becomes a bit stagnated when the plot hits that convoluted stage and chases become the main theme. I remember watching Ronin when it first came out on DVD and thinking that the film was very suspenseful but when we got to that 20 minute car chase sequence I had lost interest. Luckily that Ronin moment in this film doesn’t come till nearly the final curtain, but by then the whole chase formula has played itself out. For me there just wasnt enough action in the film and too much chase. The end of the film itself even proved to be not as fruitful as I had been hoping, then again maybe if I were a fan of the franchise from the get go it would be more exhilarating for me. In any case it’s a decent film up to a point. As always final judgment is yours. Enjoy.

Universal does right by The Bourne Legacy offering up a transfer that reveals fantastic depth and detail. Colors are magnificent, textures are well detailed. When you can see the pores on an actors face and can count the beads of sweat coming off their faces, you know you’ve got a good transfer. The only time the film seems to falter is in low lit scenes, mostly starring the politico trio. Grain seeps in and picture goes a little soft, but the scenes in which this occur are so quick and far between it makes very little difference. The only other time this occurs is during a lunch meeting between Edward Norton and another man in a diner. It’s a quick odd camera adjustment but again, not really something that’s going to hamper your viewing experience.

Along with the excellent picture quality you have a rousing 7.1 surround sound soundtrack that brings the cinema into your home theater. Front, back, and side channels all have key roles in the film and LFE output is off the charts. Explosions have immense boom that doesn’t affect the dialogue, which is crisp, or mute the soundtrack in anyway. This audio portion is a 10 out of 10 effort.

~Commentary: From just about everyone involved in the technical aspect of the film.
~Deleted Scenes: Just under eight minutes of deleted footage.
~Re-Bourne: A look at the process of recreating the Bourne series without their titular character.
~Enter Aaron Cross: A look at the new guy.
~Crossing Continents: A look at how the film jumps form location to location.
~Man Vs. Wolf: An interesting feature that shows the many different breed and hybrids that were used in the film and how they used each to make every shot in the film work. A definite watch.
~Capturing Chaos- The Motorbike Chase: Another must see. Hey show all the ways in which they kept Renner in the picture and how the stunts were pulled off using tricks and even Renner’s own talents.
~Moving Targets: A discussion about the use of both Jeremy Renner’s Aaron Cross character and Rachel Weisz’s Dr. Mart Shearing character in the film.
~BD/DVD/UV copies


AJ Garcia
Review by AJ Garcia
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