Plot: What’s it about?
I really liked the first three Bourne movies and will freely admit that Matt Damon made for a very good Jason Bourne. He embodied the anti-hero on the run that was brought forth in Robert Ludlum’s novels from the 70’s. They were both critically and commercially successful and no doubt helped make Matt Damon into the “A” list star he was today (though I’m sure the Ocean’s…movies helped with that as well). So after The Bourne Ultimatum in 2007 a few years went by and I wondered if we’d see a fourth installment. As fate would have it, yes we did, though it was a bit different. And since re-booting a franchise is all the rage in Hollywood these days, why not? Ok, it’s technically not a reboot of the series, but more of a spin-off. Think U.S. Marshals from The Fugitive if you will in that many of the same characters are in the film, but not the lead actor. Still, it’s a novel concept and one that will most likely be copied time and again.
The Bourne Legacy actually takes place around the exact same time that The Bourne Ultimatum does. As the filmmakers say “if you could turn the camera and focus on a room 50 feet down the hall, that’s our movie.” And so it was. We meet Aaron Cross (Jeremy Renner), somewhat of a clone from a sister project of Treadstone that produced Jason Bourne. Cross has completed his training and it isn’t before long that he realizes something is very wrong. After nearly escaping death on a few occasions, he seeks out the assistance of Dr. Marta Shearing (Rachel Weitz), a geneticist who helped synthesize the drugs that Cross is so dependent on. But, just as Jason Bourne had to outwit and outsmart the government thugs, so too does Cross.
There are a lot of ways to handle a franchise, but I think this might be one of the more original ways to not only maintain the name, but to perhaps continue it as well. Though it’s hard for me to picture anyone other than Matt Damon in the title role of a Bourne movie, Renner does a fair job. I’ll also say that it’s nice to see Rachel Weitz in movies again as it appears that she took a few years off after winning her Academy Award. Director Tony Gilroy, who helped write some of the Bourne scripts does a fine job here as well. Naturally he’s very familiar with the source material, but has found a way to take it and spin it into something new. True fans might clamor to the original “trilogy” but I think we’ll see another Bourne movie before we know it.
Video: How does it look?
Shown in a very wide 2.40:1 AVC HD trnasfer, The Bourne Legacy looks good, though I was troubled by a few small things that left me scratching my head. By no means is this a bad transfer, I was just taken back that for such a big budget title – these little nuances crept up. The opening act features a stark white atmosphere with little snowflakes filling the screen. Detail is magnificent, though some of the other scenes in the film tend to be a bit on the cooked side and detail isn’t always as consistent as I’d have hoped. We do get a bit of the “corporate” look and feel with some of the interior shots and though they make for an interesting visual effect, some are a bit softer than I’d have hoped. Overall, it’s certainly representative of a new to Blu-ray film, but I had my expectations set just a tad bit higher.
Audio: How does it sound?
I’ll say that the movie, quite simply, rocks. This DTS HD Master Audio track was simply made for a movie of this genre and I lost count of the number of times that my head was looking around, trying to follow the action. Yes, I get distracted easily. Vocals are rock solid, Renner’s gravely voice sounds like he’s in the same room with you. Surrounds are extremely active and the LFE do their fair share as well. Truly this is an immersive mix that really doesn’t let up. Bullets are fired, tires squeal and, of course, things blow up. If it’s a dynamic mix you want – look no further.
Supplements: What are the extras?
This Blu-ray set features a DVD of the movie as well as the Blu-ray with an UltraViolet copy to boot. While there are some Blu-ray exclusives, let’s start with what’s available to the masses, shall we? First up is an audio commentary by director Tony Gilroy and an assortment of crew members. While it’s active, it borders on dull at some points as they start to prattle on about things that don’t really have to do with the film. It does have some moments, but unless you’re a die-hard fan, I’d skip it. Next up is about 7 minutes of deleted scenes followed by “Re-Bourne” in which the filmmakers tell you how they re-imagined this so that it would work this time around. Finally “Capturing Chaos: The Motorbike Chase” is just that, a look at how the scene was laid out, choreographed and put from script to screen.
Moving onto the Blu-ray Exclusives we find essentially five featurettes (in addition to the UV copy and Digital Copy). First up is the aptly-titled “Enter Aaron Cross” in which we find out about the character and his place in the film. There’s a brief segment on the locales used for the film as well as two segments focused on the “Man vs. Wolf” fight that happens at the beginning of the film (no Jeremy Renner didn’t really wrestle a wolf). Finally “Aaron and Marta” is just that, a feature on the lead actor and actress in the film.