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Devin Vaughn

'The Bourne Legacy'

The Bourne movies are a workout. They zip from one country to the next at breakneck speed, only slowing occasionally from queasy rooftop chases and frenetic fight scenes to offer some explanation for what’s really happening. “The Bourne Legacy” continues this activity-blitz tradition despite the absence of Jason Bourne.

“The Bourne Legacy” is not a sequel to the previous three Jason Bourne movies; it is a concurrent storyline. The film reveals that Jason Bourne was not the only super-soldier created by the CIA. Aaron Cross (Jeremy Renner) is another such soldier; one of many in a secret program that creates genetically modified soldiers who require government-issued medication to live. When the program’s overseer (Edward Norton) decides to “burn the program to the ground” following the dilemma of Jason Bourne, all of the involved super-soldiers and scientists are killed. The only two survivors are Aaron and Dr. Marta Shearing (Rachel Weisz). Threatened by the government, Aaron and Marta flee the country in search of a way to transition Aaron off his life-supporting medication and avoid capture.

“The Bourne Legacy,” directed by Tony Gilroy, was shot and edited in a style similar to “The Bourne Supremacy” and “The Bourne Ultimatum,” both directed by Paul Greengrass. A few hallmarks of this style are a constantly shaky camera, a rapid editing pace and complete disregard for traditional continuity editing (by that I mean the way in which shots are filmed and edited together in such a way to create a coherent and consistent representation of space and time). The action sequences are particularly affected by this style: Images shake and flash across the screen at a jarring pace without establishing where characters are in relation to each other and their surroundings. One can’t help but wonder if it was edited in a blender.
Younger viewers will be less likely to notice this ‘hyperkinetic’ style, as it has become very common over the past decade, but less-accustomed older viewers may find some sequences nausea-inducing.

In comparison, “The Bourne Legacy” does not do anything different or better than its three predecessors, but it does effectively recreate the Bourne feel. There is adrenaline in these movies to be sure, but the effect is likely to vary from viewer to viewer. Some may watch this film and feel they experienced a brisk workout, while others may just get a headache.

'The Bourne Legacy' shaw-push-component-1

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