Jeremy Renner hits the ground running as the new hero of the Bourne spy thriller series in The Bourne Legacy, playing a genetically enhanced black ops agent who’s every bit as resilient and resourceful as the character embodied by Matt Damon in the first three films.
He needs to be. Like Damon’s Bourne, he too finds himself the target of his duplicitous CIA bosses, who are in the process of eliminating all their super spies when the action – which overlaps with Damon’s last outing, The Bourne Ultimatum – gets underway.
Renner’s Aaron Cross survives an attempt on his life in the wilds of Alaska and seeks out Rachel Weisz’s biochemist Marta Shearing, hoping she can keep him topped up with the drugs that boost his physical and intellectual powers.
Renner’s Cross isn’t as angsty as Damon’s troubled Bourne, which means he isn’t so compelling a protagonist, but when it comes to bruising combat he certainly delivers. The film’s first half is terrifically gripping, and contains a couple of heart-stopping suspense sequences that are the equal for anything else in the series.
Yet when agent and scientist go on the run together, new director Tony Gilroy – co-writer of the first and third Bourne films – can’t quite give the chases and fights the frantic kinetic thrills his predecessor, Paul Greengrass, brought to the series.
The Bourne Legacy released on Blu-ray & DVD by Universal Pictures on Monday 3rd December.