The Bourne Legacy (film)
|The Bourne Legacy|
Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Tony Gilroy|
|Based on||Bourne series
by Robert Ludlum
|Music by||James Newton Howard|
|Editing by||John Gilroy|
|Distributed by||Universal Pictures|
|Running time||135 minutes|
The Bourne Legacy is a 2012 American action thriller film directed by Tony Gilroy. The Bourne films are based on Robert Ludlum's Jason Bourne novels. The Bourne Legacy is the fourth installment in the series. The film stars Jeremy Renner, Rachel Weisz, and Edward Norton.
Titular character Jason Bourne does not appear in The Bourne Legacy, because actor Matt Damon, who played Bourne in the first three films, chose not to return for a fourth film. However, there are various pictures of Damon as Bourne shown throughout the film and his name is mentioned several times. Tony Gilroy, co-screenwriter of the first three films, sought to continue the story of the film-series without changing its key events, and parts of The Bourne Legacy take place at the same time as the previous film The Bourne Ultimatum (2007).
In The Bourne Legacy, the CIA agent Aaron Cross (Jeremy Renner) is a member of a black ops program whose subjects are genetically enhanced. He must run for his life once Bourne's actions lead to the public exposure of Operations Treadstone and Blackbriar. Filming was primarily in New York, with some scenes shot in the Philippines, South Korea, Pakistan and Canada. It was theatrically released on August 10, 2012, in the United States.
With permission from the estate of Robert Ludlum, Eric Van Lustbader has continued writing Jason Bourne novels from where Ludlum left off in The Bourne Ultimatum (1990). Although this film has the same title as his first Bourne novel The Bourne Legacy, the actual screenplay bears a little resemblance to the novel which features Jason Bourne as the principal character.
Aaron Cross (Jeremy Renner) is a field operative belonging to Operation Outcome, a Department of Defense black ops program which utilizes experimental pills, known as "chems," that enhance the physical and mental abilities of their users. Cross is assigned to Alaska for a training exercise, where he must survive weather extremes and traverse rugged terrain in order to arrive at a remote cabin. The cabin is operated by an exiled Outcome operative, Number Three (Oscar Isaac), who informs Cross that he has broken the mission record by two days.
Meanwhile, Guardian reporter Simon Ross (archive footage of Paddy Considine), who has been investigating the CIA programs Treadstone and Blackbriar, is assassinated at London's Waterloo Station. When the illegal adaptation of the programs is exposed thanks to Jason Bourne, the FBI and the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence investigate CIA Director Ezra Kramer (Scott Glenn), Deputy Director Pamela Landy (Joan Allen), Blackbriar supervisor Noah Vosen (David Strathairn), and Treadstone researcher Albert Hirsch (Albert Finney).
Kramer requests help from Eric Byer (Edward Norton), a retired Air Force colonel responsible for overseeing the CIA's clandestine operations. Byer discovers a potentially scandalous video on the Internet showing Treadstone and Blackbriar researchers appearing together at social functions. To prevent the Treadstone investigation from finding out about Outcome, Byer decides to shut the program down and kill its agents. He sees the sacrifice as acceptable in light of the government's next-generation "beta programs", including the supersoldier program LARX.
Byer deploys a drone to eliminate Number Three and Cross in Alaska. Cross hears the drone's approach and leaves moments before a missile destroys the cabin with Number Three inside. Cross manages to evade further drone attacks and tricks Byer into assuming he is dead. Meanwhile, Hirsch dies of an apparent heart attack before he can testify before the Senate. Dr. Donald Foite (Željko Ivanek) from the secret bio-genetic lab kills all but one of his top-level colleagues employed by Outcome. When the security guards break into the lab, Foite turns his gun on himself, thus leaving biochemist Dr. Marta Shearing (Rachel Weisz) as the sole survivor.
When a crack team of CIA assassins ambush Shearing at her isolated country-house, they are eliminated by Cross. He saves her life as his last link to the chems so he can retain his enhanced capabilities and alleviate chems' withdrawal. Marta Shearing reveals that, without his knowledge, Cross has been genetically modified by a tailored virus to retain the physical benefits without needing to take the green chems anymore. He still requires regular doses of blue chems to maintain his intelligence, but he is running out. Cross confides to her that he is Private First Class Kenneth J. Kitsom (reportedly killed by a roadside bomb in the Iraq War) and that his recruiter lied about his substandard IQ to satisfy the US Army's minimum requirements. Without his enhanced intelligence, they stand no chance of survival. Cross and Shearing travel to the Philippines, where the chems are manufactured, to try to infect him with another virus so he will not need the blue chems to go on.
In Manila, Cross and Shearing bluff their way into the factory producing the pills. Shearing injects Cross with the live virus stems. Byer alerts the factory security, but Cross and Shearing escape capture. Eric Byer orders LARX-03 (Louis Ozawa Changchien), a chemically brainwashed supersoldier, to track down and kill them, while they take shelter in a flophouse, where Cross recovers from the flu-like symptoms. Cross hallucinates about his Outcome training. The police surround the doss-house while Shearing is buying medicine. She manages to warn Cross by screaming. Cross rescues her from the officers and steals a motorcycle. They are pursued by both the police and LARX-03. After a lengthy chase through the streets and marketplaces of Manila, they lose the police, but not the assassin. Both Cross and LARX-03 are wounded by bullets. LARX-03 continues the chase and is killed when Shearing causes his motorcycle to crash into a pillar. Shearing persuades a Filipino boatman to help them escape by sea. They sail away, while back in New York, Noah Vosen lies to the Senate that Pamela Landy committed treason by trying to sell Treadstone secrets to the press and by assisting Bourne, the only reason why Blackbriar existed.
- Jeremy Renner as Kenneth James Kitsom/Aaron Cross/Outcome 5
- Rachel Weisz as Dr. Marta Shearing
- Edward Norton as Eric Byer
- Stacy Keach as Mark Turso
- Dennis Boutsikaris as Terrence Ward
- Oscar Isaac as Outcome 3
- Joan Allen as CIA Deputy Director Pamela Landy
- Albert Finney as Dr. Albert Hirsch
- David Strathairn as Noah Vosen
- Scott Glenn as CIA Director Ezra Kramer
- Donna Murphy as Dita
- Željko Ivanek as Dr. Donald Foite
- Corey Stoll as Vendel
- Shane Jacobson as factory owner
- Elizabeth Marvel as Dr. Connie Dowd
- Louis Ozawa Changchien as LARX-03
- Corey Johnson as Ray Wills
- John Arcilla as Joseph
- Lou Veloso as The Captain
- Paddy Considine as Simon Ross (archive footage)
Universal Pictures originally intended The Bourne Ultimatum to be the final film in the series, but development of another film was under way by October 2008. George Nolfi, who co-wrote The Bourne Ultimatum, was to write the script of a fourth film, not to be based on any of the novels by Robert Ludlum. Joshua Zetumer had been hired to write a parallel script—a draft which could be combined with another (Nolfi's, in this instance)—by August 2009 since Nolfi would be directing The Adjustment Bureau that September. Matt Damon stated in November 2009 that no script had been approved and that he hoped that a film would begin shooting in mid-2011. The next month, he said that he would not do another Bourne film without Paul Greengrass, who announced in late November that he had decided not to return as director. In January 2010, Damon said that there would "probably be a prequel of some kind with another actor and another director before we do another one just because I think we're probably another five years away from doing it."
However, it was reported in June 2010 that Tony Gilroy, who co-wrote each of the three previous Bourne films, would be writing a script with his brother and screenwriter Dan Gilroy for a fourth Bourne film to be released sometime in 2012. That October, Universal set the release date for The Bourne Legacy for August 10, 2012, Tony Gilroy was confirmed as the director of the film, and it was also announced that the Jason Bourne character would not be in The Bourne Legacy.
Gilroy said he did not get involved with the project "until the rules were that Matt [Damon] was gone, Matt and Paul [Greengrass] were gone, there was no Jason Bourne. That was the given when I had the first conversation about this. So it was very important to me, extremely important to me, that everything that had happened before be well preserved and be enhanced if possible by what we're doing now." He also said, "you could never replace Matt [Damon] as Jason Bourne. This isn't James Bond. You can't do a prequel. You can't do any of those kinds of things, because there was never any cynicism attached to the franchise, and that was the one thing they had to hang on to."
Gilroy "never had any intention of ever coming back to this realm at all—much less write it, much less direct it. Then I started a really casual conversation about what we could do in a post-Jason Bourne setting. I was only supposed to come in for two weeks, but the character we came up with, Aaron Cross, was so compelling." After watching The Bourne Ultimatum again, Gilroy called his brother, screenwriter Dan Gilroy, and said, "'The only thing you could do is sort of pull back the curtain and say there's a much bigger conspiracy.' So we had to deal with what happened in Ultimatum as the starting point of this film. Ultimatum plays in the shadows of Legacy for the first 15 minutes—they overlap."
In speaking about the film's storyline, Gilroy drew a distinction between the fictional programs in the Bourne film series:
On a practical level, the Treadstone program was about assassination. They're basically assassins. They live in the world—you can see Clive Owen [in The Bourne Identity] as a piano teacher, they have covers—but they're essentially assassins. There was nothing that would be described as espionage, [they're] basically a kill squad. The Outcome program that Aaron [played by Jeremy Renner] is part of, [Oscar Isaac's character] is one of them too... The conceit is that [Edward Norton's character] is the mastermind of this entire franchise. We're stepping back a little bit in time here, he's been a developer, he's been at the nexus of the corporate military and intelligence communities. There's a very large corporate element, pharmaceutical corporate element...
Although a large part of the film was set in and around Washington, D.C., the real D.C. appears only in aerial establishing shots. Most of the film was shot over 12 weeks at the Kaufman Astoria Studios in Queens, New York, including all interior D.C. scenes. The old house in Hudson, New York used as Shearing's house was unable to accommodate the weight of equipment and crew, so it was used only for exterior shots, and all interior scenes were filmed on a Kaufman Astoria soundstage. The scenes set in the "SteriPacific" factory in Manila were actually filmed in the New York Times printing plant in Queens.
Several scenes were shot overseas, mostly in Manila and in the paradise bay of El Nido, Palawan in the Philippines. Several train scenes at Ogeum Station on Seoul Subway Line 3 and nearby areas in Seocho-daero 77-Gil (1308 Seocho 4-dong), Seocho-gu and Gangnam-gu, Seoul, South Korea were used in some scenes. The Kananaskis Country region of Alberta, Canada was used for the scenes set in Alaska.
Gilroy said that "there are three deleted scenes—we just mixed them and color corrected them [...] but what I like about it is all three scenes happen in the movie. One of them's referred to and they're completely legitimate parts of our story, they absolutely happen in our film, we just didn't have time to show them to you so there's nothing off to the side. I think they'll be on the straight-up DVD."
The film portrays Cross and Shearing as traveling nonstop from New York JFK Airport to Manila on board an American Airlines Boeing 747-400. That particular 747 model was introduced in 1989; American Airlines has never flown one; American Airlines has never served Manila as a destination; no commercial airline has ever flown from JFK to Manila nonstop with passenger service; the distance between the two cities exceeds the maximum range of any model 747. In spite of these continuity lapses, American Airlines was actively involved in the production of the film in cooperation with NBCUniversal, and contributed its own airline employees and a Boeing 777-200 for the interior terminal and cabin shots at Terminal 8 of JFK International Airport. The airline also heavily co-marketed the film throughout post-production.
The Bourne Legacy received mixed reviews from critics. Rotten Tomatoes has the film rated at 56%, based on 208 reviews and the consensus being, "It isn't quite as compelling as the earlier trilogy, but The Bourne Legacy proves the franchise has stories left to tell—and benefits from Jeremy Renner's magnetic work in the starring role." At Metacritic, which assigns a weighted mean rating out of 100 reviews from mainstream critics, the film received an average score of 61, based on 42 reviews, which indicates "generally favorable reviews". Lisa Schwarzbaum of Entertainment Weekly gave the film an A-, commenting that "Gilroy, who as a screenwriter has shaped the movie saga from the beginning, trades the wired rhythms established in the past two episodes by Paul Greengrass for something more realistic and closer to the ground. The change is refreshing. Jason Bourne's legacy is in good hands."
Peter Debruge of Variety wrote that "the combination of Robert Elswit's elegant widescreen lensing and the measured editing by Tony Gilroy's brother John may be easier to absorb than Greengrass' hyperkinetic docu-based style, but the pic's convoluted script ensures that auds will emerge no less overwhelmed." Michael Atkinson of The Village Voice also wrote a scathing review of the film, saying: "The Bourne films have more than just overstayed their welcome and outlasted the Ludlum books—they've been Van Halenized, with an abrupt change of frontman and a resulting dip in personality."
Kenneth Turan of the Los Angeles Times gave the film a positive review, called the film "an exemplary espionage thriller that has a strong sense of what it wants to accomplish and how best to get there." He especially commended Gilroy's work on the film: "Gilroy knows the underpinnings of this world inside out and appreciates how essential it is to maintain and extend the house style of cool and credible intelligence that marked the previous films." Todd McCarthy of The Hollywood Reporter commented on his review that "the series' legacy is lessened by this capable but uninspired fourth episode."
Box office performance
In its opening weekend, The Bourne Legacy grossed approximately $38.7 million in the United States and Canada and debuted at #1 of the box office charts, surpassing Universal's expectation of $35 million. It grossed $46.6 million worldwide in its first weekend. The film sold approximately 400,000 more tickets on its opening weekend than the first film in the series, The Bourne Identity. Studio research reported that audiences were evenly mixed among the sexes. The film grossed $113,203,870 in North America and $162,940,880 in foreign countries, bringing the film's worldwide total to $276,144,750.
|The Bourne Legacy: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack|
|Film score by James Newton Howard|
|Released||August 7, 2012|
|James Newton Howard chronology|
|Film Score Reviews|
|1.||"Legacy"||James Newton Howard||2:40|
|2.||"Drone"||James Newton Howard||4:15|
|3.||"NRAG"||James Newton Howard||0:59|
|4.||"You Fell in Love"||James Newton Howard||1:42|
|5.||"Program Shutdown"||James Newton Howard||3:00|
|6.||"Over the Mountain"||James Newton Howard||0:51|
|7.||"High Powered Rifle"||James Newton Howard||2:50|
|8.||"They're All Dead"||James Newton Howard||2:48|
|9.||"Manila Lab"||James Newton Howard||2:40|
|10.||"Wolves/Sic Ric"||James Newton Howard||2:19|
|11.||"Doctor of What?"||James Newton Howard||4:28|
|12.||"Aaron in Chicago"||James Newton Howard||1:32|
|13.||"Wolf Attack"||James Newton Howard||2:57|
|14.||"Chem Talk"||James Newton Howard||1:35|
|15.||"Flight 167"||James Newton Howard||3:30|
|16.||"Aaron Run!"||James Newton Howard||1:08|
|17.||"You Belong Here"||James Newton Howard||1:17|
|18.||"Cognitive Degrade"||James Newton Howard||2:49|
|19.||"17 Hour Head Start"||James Newton Howard||3:51|
|20.||"Viralled Out"||James Newton Howard||0:58|
|21.||"You're Doing Fine"||James Newton Howard||1:18|
|22.||"Simon Ross"||James Newton Howard||1:37|
|23.||"LARX Tarmac"||James Newton Howard||1:45|
|24.||"Magsaysay Suite"||James Newton Howard||3:04|
|25.||"Aftermath"||James Newton Howard||2:49|
|26.||"Extreme Ways (Bourne's Legacy)"||Moby||4:51|
The Bourne Legacy was released on DVD and Blu-ray on December 11, 2012 in the United States and Canada.
Universal Pictures stated at a media conference in Los Angeles, California, that they are likely to release more Bourne films, despite The Bourne Legacy being given mixed reviews by critics. In a December 2012 interview, Matt Damon has revealed that he and Paul Greengrass are interested in returning for the next film as Jason Bourne and the director respectively. Damon is reported stating that although he had not seen Legacy, he intends to do so because not only is he curious to see it, but also because he has enjoyed Jeremy Renner in everything he has seen him in. Damon does however believe that if he is to return for the next film, Renner would not likely be in it too and would not have Bourne and Cross joining forces and working together. On February 21, 2013, it was confirmed that a Bourne 5 was being planned. On August 2, 2013, Universal has hired Tony Gilroy and Anthony Peckham to pen the film's script and Renner will be returning as Cross. On November 8, 2013, The Fast and the Furious film series director Justin Lin was announced to direct the film. On December 2, 2013, Renner will return as Cross, Lin will both direct and produce from his production company Perfect Storm Entertainment and the studio announce a August 14, 2015 release date.
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- Lugay, Elton (August 16, 2012). "Filipinos in ‘Bourne Legacy:’ Very patient, always punctual". Inquirer. Retrieved September 9, 2012.
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- Atkinson, Michael (August 8, 2012). "'The Bourne Legacy': Who's the New Guy?". The Village Voice. Retrieved August 8, 2012.
- Duran, Kenneth (August 9, 2012). "Review: 'The Bourne Legacy' lives up to its predecessors". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved August 13, 2012.
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- (November 14, 2011). "James Newton Howard to Score 'The Bourne Legacy'". FilmMusicReporter.com. Retrieved July 27, 2012.
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- ‘Fast & Furious’ Helmer Justin Lin To Direct Next ‘Bourne’ Installment
- Justin Lin’s ‘Bourne’ Gets August 2015 Release
- Official website
- The Bourne Legacy at the Internet Movie Database
- The Bourne Legacy at allmovie
- The Bourne Legacy at Rotten Tomatoes