Saturday, August 11, 2012

The Bourne Legacy

“Bourne” screenwriter Tony Gilroy takes over the director’s chair from Paul Greengrass for this fourth outing, the first without Matt Damon, but can’t manage to duplicate the suspense and tension of his “Michael Clayton” or the wit and ingenuity of his unfairly overlooked “Duplicity.” “Legacy” also lacks the frenetic energy and nonstop motion of the first three installments. There are long stretches of dead air between action scenes that themselves barely keep you interested. The movie ends – sort of – with an extended chase sequence that’s a bit better than the rest, but not thrilling.

Jeremy Renner is a perfectly fine actor – I liked him a lot in Ben Affleck’s “The Town” two years ago – but lacks movie-star quality; he’s best suited for character roles. I liked Rachel Weisz very much in Terence Davies’ “The Deep Blue Sea” earlier this year, but she’s too strong a personality for the submissive and dependent character she plays here. (It’s a bad part.) Edward Norton, Joan Allen, Albert Finney – none will look back on this as a career highlight. “The Bourne Legacy” is never terribly boring; it’s just there. With so much good stuff out there now, I can’t recommend it.

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