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Bourne-less plot-pourri

india Updated: Aug 10, 2012 23:57 IST
Rashid Irani
Rashid Irani
Hindustan Times
Rashid Irani

The Bourne Legacy
Direction: Tony Gilroy
Actors: Jeremy Renner, Rachel Weisz
Rating: ***

The last time we encountered Jason Bourne, the super-agent was displaying his parkour skills over the rooftops of Tangier. In the intervening five years, both Paul Greengrass who helmed the latter two installments of the trilogy and born-to-be Bourne star Matt Damon decided to opt out of the franchise which grossed $1 billion at the global box office.

Enter Jeremy Renner. The action star du jour (Mission: Impossible 4, The Avengers) portrays yet another rogue operative who rumbles with chilling efficiency to annihilate anyone who poses a threat to him.

The plotline of The Bourne Legacy is madly confounding. The director of a US intelligence agency (Edward Norton, a dour new recruit to the series) orders the elimination of the elite Bourne-like spy (Renner) who is part of a covert government programme.

It seems that the genetically enhanced agent is dependent on a daily fix of pills to hone his combat capabilities. After surviving an assassination attempt in the wilds of Alaska, he teams up with a frazzled research scientist (Weisz) who may have an antidote for the pharmaceutical experiment gone wrong.

Amidst all the near-death incidents, the duo-in-distress even finds time for some amorous hokum. It also doesn’t say much for the conspiracy thriller that we never feel that the couple running for their lives is in any real danger.

Throughout, subtlety and credibility are conspicuous by their absence. Beneath the ultra-slick surface, the drama is devoid of throb and tension.

High on speed and stamina, Jeremy Renner invests his care-worn character with a manic edge. Rachel Weisz, who has been ultra-picky at accepting roles since winning the Best Supporting Actress Academy Award for The Constant Gardener (2005), shares lively chemistry with her leading man Renner.

At best, The Bourne Legacy makes for an undemanding, popcorn-munching matinee.