When it comes to mindless action movies, The Bourne Legacy takes the cake. This movie makes the recent Battleship look Oscar-worthy, just because the action in that movie was entertaining. In The Bourne Legacy, the extremely limited quantity of action that is present is snore inducing, and the narrative and acting-only sequences don’t fare much better.
The plot of the movie follows Aaron Cross (Jeremy Renner), a failed science project by the government. He is being hunted by Eric Byer (Edward Norton), the leader of the failed project, who intends to wipe Aaron off the map so that there’s no trace of the project’s failure. Being human, Aaron resists and uses his enhanced strength and brainpower (direct results of the project) to escape. In the process, he teams up with his ex-doctor, Marta Shearing (Rachel Weisz) and together, they try to outrun the United States government. If the plot alone didn’t sound as generic as could be, the movie continues to become blander and blander through remarkably boring acting.
Jeremy Renner stars as Aaron Cross, and I had hopes for the guy. He was Hawkeye in The Avengers, and retains about the exact same skills in this movie as his Avengers counterpart. He’s stronger, smarter and faster than the average person, but he’s still just a human. I was hoping this would show in his acting, but his performance leaves a lot to be desired. He’s still acting like the side-character he was in the Avengers, and not like the primary protagonist he is here. His dialogue is boring and is only good comparatively when he’s speaking with his partner, Rachel Weisz who’s twice as bad. She’s all over the place, over-acting like a teenager who just got her first speaking part in a low-budget musical. When she has to deliver any sort of emotion, she does it to an extreme degree that’s completely unnecessary. Honestly, the only performance I thought was above mediocre was Edward Norton, who played the government guy without morals really well, being cold and calculating about everything, but unlike Rachel, not to an absurd degree.
The action is the only other thing this movie has going for it aside from the acting, and it is poor as can be. Truthfully, there’s only one real action sequence in the entire two-and-a-half-hour movie, and it’s so utterly overdrawn that I was seriously contemplating going to the bathroom halfway through it. It’s not even a fight, just some guys riding around on motorbikes nonchalantly. So the only ounce of tension this movie could’ve had going for it was completely wiped away.