Okay, so the long wait for the fans of the ‘Bourne’ franchise (and for us Pinoys as well) is finally over. The fourth installment in the action-thriller-espionage franchise is finally here. For us Pinoys, it is probably the most anticipated episode in the installment, simply because, well, we all know the fact that most of the scenes were filmed in the Philippines (Manila and El Nido,Palawan). Shoot, Manila is indeed a key and a pivotal element in the story.
First off, let me just say that I am not a big fan of the ‘Bourne’ franchise. I have seen the first three titles, (‘The Bourne Identity’, ‘The Bourne Supremacy’, & ‘The Bourne Ultimatum’) and I like all of them. But that’s about it. So the fact that this film offers a new plot and a new lead character does not interest me at all. And the fact that I even dared to make a review of this film kinda irks me. Ugh.
Moving on, “The Bourne Legacy” is a fresh,new take on the spy-thriller franchise. But this time, instead of having Jason Bourne (played by Matt Damon in the first three films) as the lead character, the story revolves around Aaron Cross, (Jeremy Renner) an agent who has become a target of a deadly threat and a person who has been taking these ‘unknown’ pills. I find myself playing with the word “unknown” during the film’s first half. “Clueless” is even more suitable, mind you. It’s a bit off and kinda hard to understand at first, especially since the film uses a lot of these scientific jargons unknown to many (or to myself,at least). But as the story goes on, the answers are revealed, and things are getting more exciting.
Aaron Cross finds himself in a deadly cat and mouse chase when his secret spy program, called the ‘Operation Outcome’ helmed by Edward Norton, gets shut down due to a series of events involving Jason Bourne. And Norton wants Cross dead. It turns out, Cross was given a new identity, a result of a top secret program and research aimed at developing better assassins which are kept hidden around the world. And to keep himself physically and mentally stable and strong, he intentionally saved the life of Dr.Marta Shearing (Rachel Weisz), who is also trapped in a deadly web of events after becoming the only survivor of a mysterious shooting at her lab. Without revealing too much, Dr.Shearing, along with Cross, heads out to Manila to obtain the pills that have boosted Cross’ strength and mental capabilities.
Now, this is where the action comes in. As Cross and Shearing fight for their lives, the film gives us intense motorcycle chase scenes, “habulan sa bubong ng mga bahay sa squatters area” scenes, and other chase scenes that will keep you on the edge of your seat. Jeremy Renner, as an action star is excellent, although he doesn’t have the unique charm that Matt Damon has. And Weisz, on the other hand, gives us jaw-dropping performance as well. The Manila scenes are huge, at infairness sa mga Pinoy actors na gumanap, amazing din sila.
If you’re planning on seeing this film just to witness the grand scenes filmed and executed in Manila, then go ahead. It is going to be a full pleasure experience, since almost half of the film were made in our dear city. But if you are a looking for a high adrenaline action-thriller experience, then ‘The Bourne Legacy” is for you. You may actually find yourself getting lost during its first half but once the drama and action comes in, then everything will be in full swing. Although if you are a fan of the first three films, especially if you will do comparisons, which is quite normal, then Legacy might fall short. In all honesty, it is definitely not the best film in the franchise, the action scenes on the first trilogy are way better. The film’s kinda rushed ending is also a factor why this film lacks the charm and magic of the first three films. But to make it short, ‘The Bourne Legacy’ on it’s own, is a solid, jaw-dropping action thriller. Definitely a must see, and with that, I give this film 3 stars out of four.