The Bourne legacy is Bourne reborn. To be more specific, it's Bourne, but it's not.
Jason Bourne is just mentioned. At the time this happens, he's in his own story and causing chaos in New York City. With journalists starting to get wind of what's going on, the suits that created Bourne's program start to rapidly shut it down.
Translation: kill everybody.
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Pay close attention. At first, the Bourne terminology flies liberally. Without a Bourne primer, you will be pretty much lost. For the first 20 minutes, writer/director Tony Gilroy -- who wrote the first three films and wrote and directed Michael Clayton -- and his brother Dan do a screenplay that blathers on and on while bouncing you about the globe.
The purpose is to connect you to Jeremy Renner's Aaron Cross and his co-stars. Eventually it works. Once things get going, even if you don't remember much about the other Bournes, it won't matter.
Like Bourne, Renner's Cross is a genetically altered spy with what some might call super powers. Deadly fast, and with 12 points added to an already-high IQ, the guy is a force of nature. He's not going to be easily shutdown.
His dilemma: how to get the drugs that the program gives him to keep him alive and working at that performance level. One of those targeted for death by the agency shutting down the program is Rachel Weisz's genetic scientist Dr. Marta Shearing. She's worked with Cross and others in the program to help supe-up their genetic code.
Shearing and Cross connect. She decides to help him.
This Bourne flick isn't much different from the others. Gilroy does a massive number of quick edits because that's how stunts and fight scenes are done these days. However, what is -- gratefully -- missing is the hand-held camera overkill. What Gilroy isn't is original. Remember how much fun the motorcycle chase was in the last Matt Damon flick? So why not do it again? And everything else again, too. Name the stunt, gun fight or Bourne chase scene, and it's included in this one.
It's a Bourne movie, so that's not a bad thing.
While longer than it needs to be, and obviously a part I, Gilroy and his cast have proved that you actually can be Bourne again without having Bourne -- again.
Mr. Movie rating: 4 stars
Director: Tony Gilroy
Stars: Jeremy Renner, Rachel Weisz, Edward Norton, Scott Glenn, Stacy Keach, Joan Allen, Albert Finney, David Strathairn
Rated PG-13 for mature themes, violence. It's playing at the Carmike 12, the Fairchild Cinemas 12 and at Walla Walla Grand Cinemas.
5 stars to 4 1/2 stars: Must see on the big screen
4 stars to 3 1/2 stars: Good film, see it if it's your type of movie.
3 stars to 2 1/2 stars: Wait until it comes out on DVD.
2 stars to 1 star: Don't bother.
0 stars: Speaks for itself.