User Score
6.1

Generally favorable reviews- based on 317 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 37 out of 317

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  1. Aug 18, 2012
    2
    A promising new lead and decent anticipation turns to a considerable let down. The latest Bourne film is Boring. Jeremy Renner is a quality actor, who this time plays a rougher, more aggressive, more believable bad ass member of Secret Government Operation: Treadstone. The main issue with the film is that it doesn't deliver the action, the villain or build into anything interesting. The final act in Manila features one of the weakest car chase sequences of all time. The film is more missing Paul Greengrass than Matt Damon. The action and tension isn't there. Expand
  2. Aug 10, 2012
    3
    Jason Bourne is one of the more intriguing film characters of the past decade. He methodically and purposefully found out who he was, who was responsible for his condition, and attempted to bring everything back together again. Even better, he was not a superhero; Jason was just a guy who went through a lot of training. He is elite, but deep down he is still one of us. Aaron Cross (Jeremy Renner), on the other hand, has been tweaked a little bit. He pops pills to up his physical and mental skills. Yes, he is still human too, but perhaps a bit genetically modified. This splash of sci/fi does not help an audience tuned in to the adventures of Jason Bourne connect with the new guy.

    When I first heard there was another Bourne installment, this time without Matt Damon, I figured someone either wrote a good script to carry on a new story line, or the studio wanted to churn out a guaranteed cash cow under the title of a proven and successful action series. Writer/director Tony Gilroy wrote the scripts for the first three Bourne films, but this is his first time behind the camera in the series. He successfully directed Michael Clayton and the under-appreciated Duplicity, but now the magic is gone. The Bourne Legacy is stale. Enduring a painfully slow beginning, The Bourne Legacy reveals it is set at the same point in time as The Bourne Ultimatum. In fact, if you have forgotten the plot points and supporting characters of the previous film, take the time to either watch it again or read about it online before heading into the new feature. Jason Bourne's escapades have thrown multiple CIA operations out in the open and the shadowy powers are frantically trying to sweep them under the rug before either Congress or the press start asking questions. Eric Byer (Edward Norton) orders the termination of Project Outcome, the new series of super agent represented by Aaron Cross. Instead of telling the agents to pack up and go home, the CIA chooses to assassinate them instead. Oh, and they try to wipe out all of the scientists who made them so super in the first place.

    Dr. Marta Shearing (Rachel Weisz) is one of those scientists seeking ways to alter chromosomes to make a more perfect human. After surviving annihilation himself, Aaron conveniently scoops the good Dr. out of harms way which sets up an 'us against them' theme quite similar to the one you remember from The Bourne Identity. Unfortunately, The Bourne Legacy noticeably lacks the quality script and thrilling action sequences of that first film. The chase scenes in the new film are edited so atrociously, especially during motorcycle elements, that they are almost impossible to logically follow. You know they are weaving in and out of traffic, there are near misses, and flying bullets; but there are only quick glimpses of that on the screen in the midst of the unsteady camera work and split-second jump cuts.

    The Bourne Identity also had a mystery to unravel and wandered around the world trying to find out who was behind the curtain. There is no curtain now, Edward Norton is pulling the strings in plain sight using all of the means in the intelligence community he can lay his hands on. There are armed Predator drones, devious mop-up CIA killing squads, and even a possible super-duper agent; imagine the Schwarzenegger Terminator battling the new T-1000. Renner and Weisz do their best to remake a film which was already pretty great. Yes, they have new names and faces, but they are running from the same agency, dodging the same bullets, but this time they have a higher chromosomal level on their side. The Bourne Legacy will be known as that film which derailed the very respectable Bourne franchise. Paul Greengrass, the director of The Bourne Supremacy and The Bourne Ultimatum, was correct when he said any further film would feel like The Bourne Redundancy.
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  3. Dec 2, 2012
    3
    Its unfortunate but I was expecting great things for this movie. I am a huge Bourne fan, having read the Ludlum novels and watched the Bourne trilogy at least 5 fives already. Seeing the average reviews for The Bourne Legacy I was determined that this could not suck. It could not. Oh how wrong I was.

    Having got this movie on Blu-Ray just recently, I was pumping for this film. First ten
    minutes in, I had a horrible feeling. This feels...wrong. Half an hour in, I was like, hey it seems to be picking up. Now, I am not asking for a lot of action. To be honest, I want a movie to be balance of action and dialogue. A lot of the diehard fanboys of this movie (A few in the metacritic reviews) attack those of us who gave his movie mediocre scores as they accuse us of giving it a bad score due to the fact that 'there's not much/not as much action scenes as the previous Bourne films'. To that I say, bullsht. In fact, the action scenes in this movie are alright and the lack of them isn't key in bringing down the score. What does bring it down is a combination of several elements. Firstly, the plot. The plot has to be one of the worst action film plot Ive seen in recent years. And the bad thing is, they're serious here. Unlike the Expendables 1 and 2 where they know its bad so they dont take the plot seriously, Legacy takes it all way too seriously. The movie is full of rudimentary segments and parts that felt way too long. It felt almost like as if the writer wrote a epic plot with visits to several exotic locations, plot twists and sequences. Instead, in filming, they discovered that the script was too long and it was too late to shorten it down. So they just did what they did. About what can be done in 30~50minutes stretched out into 2 hours. Nice work guys. It almost felt like a chore watching this movie after 40 minutes because it just felt so slow and plot progression movie like a slug up a ramp. Unlike the previous Bourne films which mixed a variety of sequences (chases, gun scenes, escapes etc) with excellent plot dialogue segments, Legacy just fills about 85% of the movie with slow dialogue segments that do little to move the story forward and throws in 2 fight scenes, each only around 2 minutes long and single chase scene at the end. That's it. And the asset send to hunt down our protagonists? He's apparently superior to the assets seen the previous Bourne films as he's in a newer, superior program. But heck, in the movie...he's not that good. Especially when going against Renner, who is in an inferior program to Bourne.
    And why the Philippines? That's right folks, half the movie takes place in Manila. I have nothing against the Philippines and have been there before. Its a great country...just with a lot of uninteresting places and lots of slums. Its not really the ideal locale for a top-notch action film. Had this been set in say, Japan, Korea or China or hell, have it back in Europe like the previous Bourne films, it would've been a lot more appealing. Its like saying, "hey, lets set Lord of the Rings in a swamp and have it there for half the movie!". Or "Hey, lets have The Dark Knight set in Antarctica! That's exotic right?" And I felt sorry for Jeremy Renner. This guy has done a great job in this film and its sad to see the rest of the movie being utter dung. Now Rachel Weiz...yea she's a hot milf. Since The Mummy Returns, Ive always had something for her. She's hot. But her acting? Its alright, not too bad, but there are some scenes where you would just wonder...is this an industry veteran or some new girl on the block. But yea, at least she's a much-needed eyecandy for this horrible film. Bourne Legacy doesn't receive a 3/10 purely due to a lack of good action scenes. In fact, its action scenes are okay and while there is a lack of them, its not the critical factor. The crucial aspect that nails this film in its coffin is the combination of a boring/shallow plot, boring characters (and a complete lack of chemistry, good or bad, between the Weiz and Renner to the point where it feels like they hate each others guts in real life and wanted to avoid doing anything/speaking with one another), a lame premise, bad locale choice and basically, having next to no relations with the Bourne Trilogy. Its like Prometheus to Alien...sure there's the hints and links here and there, but its not the same thing. This is The Bourne Legacy. While I can see Prometheus fit within the Alien universe, Legacy doesn't really feel like its part of the Bourne universe. Sure, it has Jason Bourne it in...on TV, but overall, if you remove the 'Bourne' title in this movie, it really would not making a difference. So shallow, uninspiring and boring, this film dampened the Bourne namesake so bad that I had to rewatch the Bourne Trilogy again just to make myself feel better. A horrible, Grade-B spinoff of the Bourne franchise with no class nor brains.
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  4. Aug 17, 2012
    4
    An unworthy, unwelcome, and unnecessary addition to what is the greatest trio of spy movies ever made. The movie was only saved due to Jeremy Renner's solid performance as the lead actor, however his character was done injustice due to poor writing. This movie lacks all things Bourne: the intensity, suspense, action, compelling villains. Identity, Supremacy and Ultimatum were actually about a government conspiracy about elite Assassins. Legacy is about a science project creating Terminators, there's a difference. Jason Bourne was badass and all, but in the end we could all relate to him. We could all connect to his situation whether he was shot, fighting, being chased all around the city, we could relate to him. Aaron Cross was poorly developed, but like I said I wouldn't blame Renner, it's the poor writing. The trilogy was all about Bourne being hunted by Treadstone and later Blackbriar, his main objective: find out who wants him dead. Cross is in the same situation only with a different objective which translates to "I need some meds!!", no connection to the story there. Likewise for the villains, they didn't give a rats ass about Aaron Cross, and where the Matt Damon movies features non-stop amazing action, here we have a bunch of guys doing chit chat. Not only does it fail there, there are other Bourne moments absent: Where's the agent vs agent fight? Where's Cross making a call to the people after him? Where's the confrontation with the man who wants him dead? Yes this movie is a disappointment, and not worthy of the Bourne title. Yet to me Bourne remains a trilogy. Ultimatum wrapped up the story with near perfection, I never really saw the need to continue the story at all, my expectations were never really high in the first place so from what I can conclude this movie failed to prove me wrong and it actually didn't even manage to live up to my moderate expectations. This movie gets a 4/10 only because of Jeremy Renner's acting, the man gave it his best. Honourable mention to Rachel Weisz and Edward Norton who also put up solid performances but like Renner they were victim to the terrible writing this movie had. Expand
  5. Aug 24, 2012
    2
    If you make a Bourne movie without everything that makes a Bourne movie awesome you get The Bourne Legacy. While I watched it, I perfectly understood why Matt Damon and Paul Greengrass didn't want to get involved in this piece of junk. While in the original films you get exciting action sequences that kept your attention and very good editing, The Bourne Legacy has tons of dialogues that go nowhere and a terribly awkward pacing. Not to mention it's 30 minutes too long. As a matter of fact, there's barely any action. The few there is would be ok if it was a Jason Statham movie, but for Bourne standards is cheesy and absurd. The only good thing about The Bourne Legacy is the solid acting from Jeremy Renner and Rachel Weisz, who make a very sexy couple and are both very likeable. Yes, the talented Edward Norton is in the movie, but unfortunately for him, he can't do much of a thing with a very poorly developed character that only has the function of throwing exposition at computer screens. I'd be surprised if anyone cared for the pills conflict which wasn't any intresting. Tony Gilroy should stick to writing, because he isn't a good director. He should be ashamed of making such a terrible film for a great franchise he helped to build. Specially in the ending, which was a cheap way to leave everything open for a sequel unlike The Bourne Ultimatum, which tied everything in its place. The only thing this movie has of Bourne is the title and it's not worthy of it. The Bourne Legacy is the perfect example of Hollywood beating a dead horse. Expand
  6. Oct 17, 2012
    0
    If you are a HUGE Bourne fan like myself this movie will probably not be for you. This is Jason Bourne without Jason Bourne. The movie was disappointing to say the least. I must admit there was one good part and thats the part where I dosed off for 5min and nearly got a heart attack when my wife woke me
  7. Aug 20, 2012
    4
    A promising new actor (Jeremy Remer) takes over as Arron Cross for Matt Damon's Jason Bourne character in the latest Bourne film but even with the talented and beautiful rachel Weisz in support they are not enough to save this turkey from thanksgiving day dinner. The opening chapter in Alaska with the drone attack shows promise of building suspense and action but everything ultimatley crashes due to a poor plot and a lousy closing chase scene. In a spy file, if the plot is improbable, you are in big trouble (unless its a Bond film-then no one apparently cares). Writer/director Tony Gilroy who wrote the scripts for the first three Bourne films, and takes over as director has lost the magic. The Bourne Legacy attempts to connect the dots from The Bourne Ultimatum before heading into new territory but instead the US government (again) tries to wipe out not only all the agents but even all the scientists behind the "new " program. Why? who knows? We know in reality our goverment wont care, but this leads to alot of silly murders to unsuccessfully build suspense. Because all suspense and credibility is lost, all the old Jason Bourne characters who are in this film (Ed Norton; albert Finney; davis strathern; joan allen etc) appear like retreaded tires.By the end, everything about the file seems like an old worn out tire. Expand
  8. Sep 8, 2012
    0
    This movie simply has no art at all. No art in the action scenes, no art in dialogue, no art in acting. The plot sucks and makes me want to sleep, this movie doesn't teach you anything and the soundtracks are frustrating simply. I'm giving it a 0 out of 10 because for me it was a waste of time.
  9. Sep 4, 2012
    3
    This was a huge, essentially plotless disappointment: zero intrigue, zero character/relationship development, zero point, very little suspense, and empty dialogue. Renner and Weisz carried the entire thing, but outside of liking them I cared little or nothing for the "characters" or the "story."

    What made Jason Bourne so intriguing was that he was completely lost and there were
    strangers trying to kill him - a double nightmare loaded with action, mystery, and suspense. And we cared about him because he was repenting and struggling with what he did while brain washed at Treadstone. Aaron Cross and Dr. Shearing however are two characters of little interest simply running for their lives from the government they were working for. Aaron Cross in fact, as per a scene with Ed Norton, could be considered a ready and willing villain! He's not trying to get his life back, or get out of the business, or clear his conscience, he's just a killer that wants to stay smart and not get killed. There's nothing to figure out and no ending to arrive at, and therefore nothing to follow, connect to, or really care about. This movie was total bore that simply rode on its loose association to the far superior Bourne Trilogy. Expand
  10. May 14, 2013
    4
    This film is just simply boring. It takes an hour just for Bourne to start kicking somebodies ass. What do we get for the first hour? A storyline about some scientists, treadstone, and Jason travelling in some mountain for ages... The action is weak and just doesn't have the thrill like the first two films did. (I haven't seen the third one yet)
  11. Aug 25, 2012
    3
    Bourne Legacy was so disappointing. And we were really looking forward to seeing this. All it was was a 2 hour set up for a sequel. Which they could have done in 30 minutes. Not the two hours and 15 minutes that this thing was drug out
    We felt like we really wasted our money
  12. Sep 29, 2012
    1
    This movie was an utter disgrace to what is probably my all-time favorite movie franchise. While the first Bourne movies were smart and engrossing - this movie feels like it was written by 3rd graders. The script is awful, the plot doesn't progress, and the characters are completely 1-dimensional. Not only that, but the entire premise of the movie involves borderline sci-fi garbage that has no place in the Bourne series. Certain scenes like the series' trademark chase scene clip and are unrealistic looking - and I can point to one (unimportant) scene in particular where an agent drops 20 feet from a tree in a blur like superman.

    Some people may have not liked Jeremy Renner - but as most reviews indicate - he was certainly not the problem. No plot, no script, and boring. I'm going to go on pretending that this movie doesn't exist, and hope they do the next Bourne movie the right way - with a plot and a script. Disgraceful.
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  13. Aug 27, 2012
    1
    This is the first movie that i've actually FELL ASLEEP watching in the cinema. It was utterly awful. The only saving grace was the performance of Jeremy Renner, who was incredibly good in the role.
  14. Aug 26, 2012
    4
    The Bourne Legacy proves itself as little more than a half-hearted attempt to restart the franchise. Jeremy Renner stars as Aaron Cross, another government-trained assassin from an operation parallel to Treadstone and Blackbriar. Presumably his abilities surpass Bourne's, though this isn't really put to the test. Following the fallout of Ultimatum's potential media leak, officials decide to shut down a number of programs, ranging from field operatives to researchers. Cross decides to rescue Dr. Rachel Weisz in hope of receiving his medication, and the two then flee to Manila. Too much of Legacy just feels like a watered-down retread of the other Bourne pictures with different actors. It knows the words but not the music. Edward Norton channels Chris Cooper, Joan Allen, and David Strathairn of series' entries past without really bringing anything new to the role. Renner does solid work in the lead role. Weisz is mainly kept around as multi-purpose window dressing. The action sequences are only mildly interesting while other scenes fatally lack momentum. It's as if the director and writers thought they could coast on the audience's familiarity with the series and interest in seeing impressive stuntwork and professional ass-kickings. No new grounds are really covered, save some uninteresting scientific developments. The movie can be praised for its efficiency and technological aspects, but that praise would mean more if these aspects were put to use in a better movie. All in all The Bourne Legacy has no real reason to exist other than to regurgitate the series' now tired formula, and to open the door for yet another sequel. Expand
  15. Sep 7, 2013
    0
    One of the worst films I have ever seen. As a huge Bourne fan (even loved the game), I can't believe how much they've managed to ruin one of the greatest movie franchises. First of all, it starts of extremely slowly, with no explanation. It jumps from one scene to another for about 45 minutes but doesn't link them together. The backstory doesn't exist at all, and there is no connection to Treadstone or Bourne AT ALL. What's more, the new characters and their motives and the entire story is not only dull, shallow and without any explanation, but even the action scenes are laughably pathetic. Far too much Hollywood cliché rubbish. At the end I had no idea what the film was about and still didn't get how anything linked together. Honestly, there is no reason why anybody should watch this film. Expand
  16. Sep 9, 2012
    4
    I'm very disappointed with the Bourne Legacy. The trailers and the anticipation was good, but the film was only "average". The beginning is very confused (but that's OK for a spy-movie) ... after the half and some good scene the movie goes down. The ending is "wait for The Bourne legacy 2" and totally inconsistent.
    Don't waste money going to the cinema for this.
  17. Jan 1, 2013
    4
    The Bourne Legacy was a let down. I'm not going to repeat what alot of the other critics have already noted but it clearly did not measure up to the trilogy. Long story short, it doesn't click because the casting is off as is the direction, too bad.
  18. Aug 26, 2012
    3
    I have not seen any of the other Bourne films so this is my first film a have seen out of the Bourne films, and what a let down. Very boring and I didn't really get it the films story. The Bourne Legacy 3.8/10
  19. Aug 16, 2012
    4
    How do you review a movie that was so boring you fought to stay awake, who's characters were poorly written and unable to engage you in any interesting way. A spy movie that either has the thinnest plot ever or none at all depending on your perspective. Who tried to copy all the cool things about it's predecessors and put them all in one cool action film, but instead somehow made all those things much less intriguing. A movie who's only redeemable quality is that it has pretty good acting, and looks good. I guess that's how. Expand
  20. Aug 25, 2012
    4
    As others have said, this film is overly complicated. If you don't remember everything that happened in the first three movies, you will have no clue what's going on. Even if you, like me, remember just about everything from the first three movies, you'll be sadly disappointed. This film does nothing to further the Bourne story except to say that they introduce a new agent. Overall, the story is pretty boring and pointless. I had a free ticket to see it, otherwise, I would be regretting my ticket purchase. Save your money and see something else. Expand
  21. Jan 21, 2013
    4
    The Bourne Legacy was completely unnecessary. Not only was the plot weak, but it didn't follow what happened in the other movies at all. The one good thing was that there were some awesome action sequences.
  22. Sep 3, 2012
    4
    Let me start off by saying that I wasn't thrilled with the original Bourne trilogy. They were redundant and all ended the same way. Sadly, this film is no exception. In fact, its plot is exactly the same as The Bourne Identity, which makes it a totally uninspired addition to the already dull franchise. It may entertain you, but the story and point have been shown all too many times.
  23. Mar 22, 2013
    4
    I was really looking forward to a new Bourne movie, even if Matt Damon wouldn't be in it. Lets just say.. I was disappointed. The story wasn't interesting, the direction was horrible and probably the main reason why the acting was terrible. Rachael Weisz is quite capable of acting, although in this movie it seemed she was asked to improvise too much, leaving, in some cases, an annoying display of fumbles for 5 minutes. The pacing wasn't great, and Jeremy Renner was playing a different character to the one he was meant to be playing. He was goofy and stuck up, when I believe his character description probably said "confident" Jeremy Renner can't do "confident" he can only do "Jeremy Renner" So coming from Matt Damon perfect representation of what a spy on the run would be like, it was a shock to see such a horrible performance from the leads. There are too many points in this movie where you don't care what's happening, but you can see that you are meant too. This is not good. There is a point where Rachael Weisz is distraught about seeing her colleagues murdered. Which is fine, although we hardly know this character, we don't care about her enough yet to then sit through a scene which goes for about 15 minutes where she is sobbing while talking to people who we don't know either until after that scene. If you loved the Bourne trilogy, and you haven't seen this one yet, I recommend you don't. 4/10 Expand
  24. Feb 7, 2013
    2
    I watched about an hour before skipping to the end. The main problem for me was the long exposition scenes where in characters sit or stand around yelling or insulting each other. All the exposition could have been edited down to a few minutes and still told the audience everything it needed to know.
  25. Jul 7, 2013
    1
    A travesty, pure and simple.

    I think we could all accept the mediocre movie on display if it had kept to itself, and not interfered with the works beforehand. But not only does the film breach into territory the original trilogy worked so hard to set up, it ruins all the meaning from it, just so they can selfishly continue the franchise without Damon and Greengrass.
  26. Sep 17, 2013
    4
    The Bourne Legacy really is a disappointment compared to the trilogy it followed. The story didn't make sense, it jumped from one plot to another, and was a sorry excuse for a Bourne movie. No wonder Matt didn't sign on for this one.
Metascore
61

Generally favorable reviews - based on 42 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 24 out of 42
  2. Negative: 3 out of 42
  1. Reviewed by: Ian Nathan
    Aug 12, 2012
    40
    As earnestly as they have tried to continue the formerly excellent spy series, everything Gilroy and crew concoct only serves to mock the excellence and passion with which Greengrass delivered his films.
  2. Reviewed by: Steve Persall
    Aug 12, 2012
    75
    The globetrotting is reined in, the mayhem at each stop just as exciting. Renner is a sturdy action hero, with an interesting face that unlike Damon's appears to have taken a punch or two.
  3. Reviewed by: Peter Rainer
    Aug 12, 2012
    67
    Good at scenes of high-level nastiness, but there's too much confusing exposition in this "Legacy" and the action scenes, some of them good, are too little and too late.