Tuesday, March 21, 2023


August 10, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

OK, let’s get the obvious puns over with without further ado: Critics are about equally divided over whether The Bourne Legacy is a Bourne winner or was Bourne to lose. In the camp of the former is Kenneth Turan of the Los Angeles Times. “Complex, unexpected and dazzling, alternating relentless tension with resonant emotional moments,” Turan writes, “this is an exemplary espionage thriller that has a strong sense of what it wants to accomplish and how best to get there.” Steven Rea in the Philadelphia Inquirer writes that he has no complaints about Legacy. “It’s smart, it’s exhilarating,” and while Renner may not have the movie-star charisma that Damon does, he nevertheless “slips into the skin” of his character, someone who’s “keenly cognizant of his place in the world, of the danger he is in, and confident in his abilities to survive.” That represents the cumulative opinion of the critics, including Joe Neumaier in the New York Daily News, who writes: “Renner was brilliant in The Hurt Locker and clearly bored in Mission: Impossible — Ghost Protocol. He’s the kind of actor who does best with a challenge. That makes this unusually intelligent series a good match for him, and he rises to the occasion. He won’t erase any memories of Damon, but Renner’s turn is strong enough to stand on its own. It’s also strong enough to carry the series forward.” Indeed Renner is drawing some fine notices even from critics who take a dim view of the movie as a whole. Like Ty Burr of the Boston Globe, who concludes, “The best thing that can be said about The Bourne Legacy is that Renner will survive it.” Several critics complain about the jerky unfolding of the plot. They include Roger Ebert of the Chicago Sun-Times, who writes, “I freely confess that for at least the first 30 minutes I had no clear idea of why anything was happening. The dialogue is concise, the cinematography is arresting and the plot is a murky muddle.” Mick LaSalle in the San Francisco Chronicle writes similarly but more tersely: “The film is almost opaque in its storytelling.” And Michael Phillips in the Chicago Tribune concludes that the film ought to be more accurately titled: “The Pointless, Confused and Then, For the Last Half-Hour, Exciting Bourne Sequel, After a Fashion.”