Copyright © 2016 by Universal Pictures
Having eluded the authorities, Jason Bourne / David Webb (Matt Damon) survives alone by partaking in prohibited fighting rings. When former CIA operative and aide Nicky Parsons (Julia Stiles) hacks into the agency, she uncovers new information about Bourne’s enlistment and his father, Richard Webb’s (Gregg Henry) involvement in the original Treadstone programme. His investigation leads him to unsettling news about his father while being pursued by the CIA Director, Robert Dewey (Tommy Lee Jones), Heather Lee (Alicia Vikander), a computer specialist and a resentful Blackbriar assassin (Vincent Cassel).
“Bourne has been off the grid for a long time. He’s been hiding in the shadows”, says an ambitious Lee whose frosty façade is complimented by a cool Vikander. She is confident that “bringing him back in is the smart move”. It has been almost a decade since ‘The Bourne Ultimatum’ concluded on a high and ‘The Bourne Legacy’ failed to excite fans, scrapping plans for future sequels.
Theoretically anyway. Reassembling the winning team of Damon and director Paul Greengrass who assumed directing duties after Doug Liman’s ‘The Bourne Identity’ renewed hope that the wavering series could be reinstated enthusiastically, promising new revelations of the covert agent with the same initials as the other superspy that garnered two consecutive Oscars for ‘Best Original Song’ and pulsating action.
Greengrass is no slouch when it comes to the latter; ‘United 93’ and ‘Captain Phillips’ are based on real accounts but transformed into riveting pieces about loyalty, unity and tenacity. The chases in Athens and Las Vegas are nothing short of industrious though I still detest the use of handheld cameras. Apart from that, it is a snoozefest with uneven pacing and insipid acting.
You have got some real talent here – Jones, Cassel, Henry and Riz Ahmed; yet they are all wasted on second-rate writing. ‘The Bourne Legacy’ bit off more than it could chew with its intricate framing but I would go for complex over vapid any day. Damon still commands the screen easily although his isolation from interaction squanders further growth on Bourne. He utters only 25 lines in the entire movie? Clearly somebody must have missed ‘The Martian’.
Rated PG-13 for intense sequences of violence and action, and brief strong language