This weekend sees the release of the fourth “Bourne” film, “The Bourne Legacy” — except this time around it’s sans titular lead, Jason Bourne (Matt Damon). Instead, new guy Jeremy Renner is getting his turn behind the wheel.
Director Tony Gilroy continues the genetically modified tale in “The Bourne Legacy,” which follows agent Aaron Cross, who is — like Jason Bourne — trying to defect from a secret government organization. Renner is also joined by a few new stars: Rachel Weisz, as a brilliant scientist/tough girl and Edaward Norton, who plays the nefarious agency head.
“Bourne Legacy” is vying for the box office top spot — hoping to dethrone “The Dark Knight Rises” — and could bring in as much as $ 33 million this weekend. But are audiences ready for a Damon-free “Bourne”? Take a look at what the critics are saying, below.
Richard Corliss (TIME Magazine)
The overall tone is <a href=”http://entertainment.time.com/2012/08/09/the-bourne-legacy-spy-vs-drones-which-is-which/” target=”_hplink”>familiar, refried, redundant</a>.
Andrew O’Hehir (Salon.com)
“The Bourne Legacy” is a lean, clean killing machine that supplies some dark, <a href=”http://www.salon.com/2012/08/09/the_bourne_legacy_can_jeremy_renner_steal_matt_damons_mojo/” target=”_hplink”>late-summer thrills and chills and breathes new life into a seemingly extinct franchise.</a>
Roger Ebert (Chicago Sun-Times)
“The Bourne Legacy” is always gripping in the moment. <a href=”http://rogerebert.suntimes.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20120808/REVIEWS/120809988″ target=”_hplink”>The problem is in getting the moments to add up.</a>
Peter Bradshaw (Guardian [UK])
Despite its muddled origins, this fourth movie is much more of a bang and less of a whimper than any of us feared, <a href=”http://www.guardian.co.uk/film/2012/aug/09/the-bourne-legacy-review” target=”_hplink”>and Jeremy Renner is emerging as the intelligent person’s action star.</a>
Marshall Fine (Hollywood & Fine)
A tense thriller that builds to a series of climaxes…Gilroy dots the landscape with edgy, <a href=”http://hollywoodandfine.com/reviews/the-bourne-legacy-carrying-on/” target=”_hplink”>tough-minded hand-to-hand encounters that were a hallmark of the first three films</a>.
Christy Lemire (Associated Press)
Structurally, yes, it’s loaded with all the lies, schemes and high-tech trickery that are staples of the espionage genre. <a href=”http://www.huffingtonpost.com/huff-wires/20120808/us-film-review-the-bourne-legacy/” target=”_hplink”>But a deeper, more individualistic source of tension propels the film along.</a>
David Denby (New Yorker)
The new movie continues the Bourne tradition of exciting, reality-based thrillers, <a href=”http://www.newyorker.com/arts/critics/cinema/2012/08/13/120813crci_cinema_denby” target=”_hplink”>but when the series lost its star it lost most of its soul</a>.
Patrick Smith (Daily Telegraph)
If this is Bourne’s legacy, <a href=”http://www.telegraph.co.uk/culture/film/filmreviews/9464027/Bourne-Legacy-first-review.html” target=”_hplink”>he should amend his will</a>.
Glenn Kenny (MSN Movies)
…there are excellent performances <a href=”http://movies.msn.com/movies/movie-critic-reviews/the-bourne-legacy/” target=”_hplink”>and a few really first-rate suspense-set pieces…</a>
Lisa Schwarzbaum (Entertainment Weekly)
Gilroy, who as a screenwriter has shaped the movie saga from the beginning, trades the wired rhythms established in the past two episodes by Paul Greengrass for something more realistic and closer to the ground. <a href=”http://www.ew.com/ew/article/0,,20483133_20589882,00.html” target=”_hplink”>The change is refreshing.</a>
Scott Tobias (AV Club)
The Bourne Legacy rebottles much of the chemistry that Damon and Franka Potente shared in the first film, <a href=”http://www.avclub.com/articles/the-bourne-legacy,83567/” target=”_hplink”>like an us-against-the-world Stockholm syndrome.</a>