9 December 2012
I love the Bourne films, and watch them most times that they are shown on TV, so it was an easy decision to get Bourne Legacy as soon as it appeared on DVD for some early Christmas entertainment.
Rather like Skyfall, it builds on the established canon and creates a creditable platform for further adventures with some new characters. But, unlike Skyfall, it forgets to add a plot or to take the franchise forward. Bourne 4 is a new Bourne 1 that is not as good as the original Bourne 1.
It is slow to get going and slow to introduce the new ideas that really do not require much time to explain as they are essentially the same as the old ideas.
Bourne 4 also lacks charm. We cared about Jason Bourne in the original trilogy, and we cared for the girl too. In Bourne 1 we meet the man before we see the agent. This emotional empathy lifted Bourne above a simple action story yet this has either been forgotten or deliberately dropped. In Bourne 4. Here we only ever see the agent.
Its one strength is its action scenes yet even these rely too heavily on what has gone before. The car chase is the one from Moscow in Bourne 2 and the rooftop chase is Algiers from Bourne 3.
If Bourne 4 were the only Bourne film then it would have some merit. As the prequel to an intriguing Bourne 5 it may still have some. But as a series reboot or a standalone film Bourne 4 misses all the tricks that Skyfall plays so well and emerges as just an average film and a huge missed opportunity.