Review: Bourne 4 The Bourne Legacy – Extraordinary All the Way Around

“Welcome to the program” – the Behavioral Design program – a true “designer drug” which enhances and confuses the participant.  Enter Jeremy Renner in this reboot disguised as a third sequel.   Renner has come into his own appearing in two blockbusters, recurring character William Brandt in Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol (2011)  as well as the rumored M.I. 5 and as Clint Barton/Hawkeye in The Avengers.  Protocol brought in around 695 mill worldwide with The Avengers about one and a half billion thus, people are finally getting to know the hard-working veteran actor.

Bourne 4 is so deep cover C.I.A. that two of the agents can’t figure out who is cooperating with whom.  Like a skewed version of Mad Magazine’s Spy vs Spy leaks need to be plugged and that problematic first rule of assassination – always kill the assassin – is taken quite literally here…it’s the theme to B-4.

Director / co-writer Tony Gilroy brings much color to the dreamscape – an element missing in (and which drained the life out of) director Len Wiseman’s 2012 vision for Total Recall – and that film might get two hits this week –  from the popularity of the Dark Knight Rises and from this action onslaught that is chock full of violence, intrigue and chase scenes.    You have seen it all before, but Gilroy jumbles it up enough and the acting (extraordinary all the way around) vibrant enough to make Bourne Legacy the sleeper of 2012 thus far.

Taken liberally from 2000’s Mission Impossible 2 where Ethan Hunt had to seek out and destroy a “genetically modified disease called “Chimera”, here a superb and all-grown-up Rachel Weisz looks much, much different than her kick-ass character in 2003’s Runaway Jury.  Weisz was born in 1970, Renner in 1971, so the series is going for the action loving over-40 crowd as well as the high octane movie goers who can’t get enough of these roller coaster rides.

Oscar Isaac as Outcome #3 is as confused as Aaron Cross (Renner) – and what’s with the use of the name Cross?   Tyler Perry plays Alex Cross in the 2012 film from the James Patterson novel (Morgan Freeman’s character from Kiss The Girls and Along Came A Spider.  Aaron Cross, Alex Cross…the bottom line is that Bourne Legacy has jump-started this series.

Joe Viglione is the Chief Film Critic at He was a film critic for Al Aronowitz’s The Blacklisted Journal, has written thousands of reviews and biographies for, and produces and hosts Visual Radio. Visual Radio is a fifteen year old variety show on cable TV which has interviewed John Lennon’s Uncle Charlie, Margaret Cho, Ray Manzarek, John Densmore, Felix Cavaliere, Marty Balin, Bill Press and hundreds of other personalities.