– By Ben L.
Universal has released the official theatrical trailer to The Bourne Legacy. Set directly after the events in 2007’s The Bourne Ultimatum, Legacy features both a new director and protagonist. Jeremy Renner plays a new agent in the fourth film in the series helmed by Tony Gilroy, who served as screenwriter for the first three Bourne films. Hence fans need not worry about the franchise falling into inexperienced hands.
Details of the movie have been scarce and kept mostly under wraps – until now it had only been made known that Edward Norton would be the main antagonist, while some cast members of Ultimatum would return. The project was also met with heavy skepticism when it was first announced, with fans disappointed that neither Matt Damon nor director Paul Greengrass would be involved. And with the chapter on Bourne’s story seeming closed in the last film, a fourth film looked like a typical Hollywood move to capitalise on a hugely profitable franchise.
With the new trailer, however, Legacy makes a lot more sense now. My only gripe? It contains too much information and is so dangerously close to spoiling the movie.
So what can we gather from the trailer so far?
Renner’s character Aaron Cross is part of a programme designed to genetically enhance soldiers or agents – it is mentioned that he had received alterations to two of his chromosomes. In the beginning of the trailer, Renner asks his doctor, played by Rachel Weisz, ‘What is it that we do out there, doc?‘ Is this the beginning of the programme, or has Cross, like Bourne, lost his memory too?
We then hear Norton’s voiceover, which has been played before in the previous teaser trailer, ‘Jason Bourne was the tip of the iceberg.‘ This could mean that the assassins programmes (Treadstone, Blackbriar) had lost control of not just Bourne, but possibly other agents too. Or it could just be Norton listing down a whole list of agents who had been involved in the programme.
Norton’s position is still unclear, but he has his own office which indicates he assumes a pretty high position in the agency. Special Agent Ray Wills, Deputy Director Vosen’s right-hand man from Ultimatum, makes a phone call to Norton informing him of Bourne’s appearance in Manhattan – confirming that Legacy takes place around the same time as the previous film. He talks about ‘burning the programme to the ground’, which could be a hint that he might be the head of the scientific programme after all, and has decided to shut it down after Blackbriar’s leaders and CIA director Kramer are held for questioning at the end of Ultimatum. And by shutting down, he means eliminating everyone involved.
So Cross is presumably being hunted down while looking for answers, and his own globetrotting affair takes him to, surprise surprise, the Philippines – you can see the word ‘Divisoria’ on the bus at 2:17 of the trailer, which is a district in Manila. It will be interesting to find out what secrets a Southeast Asian country holds in the Bourne universe, but it is also not known what other stamps Cross may collect on his passport (Jason Bourne has traveled to at least three cities in each of his three films).
From the looks of it, Legacy looks like a cleverly written story that expands the Bourne universe and reveals the extent of the Treadstone conspiracy. I love the fact that they make references to past events in the Bourne films like the gunning down of journalist Simon Ross, and Cross saying ‘We gave them everything, we both did,‘ which is a throwback to Bourne’s last words in Ultimatum, ‘Look at what they make you give‘. More importantly it’s intriguing how Bourne actually has an impact on Cross and the whole story.
The Bourne Legacy will open in cinemas on August 8, one week after the US release.