Aaron Cross (Jeremy Renner) doesn’t realize it, but he has some big shoes to fill. A soldier recruited by the CIA to be a pharma guinea pig, Aaron survives his solo time in the frozen wild and beats the best record for doing so by two days, fueled by a pair of colorful “chems.” But shortly after getting the good news he finds himself under attack, narrowly escaping a missile delivered by drone. However, Aaron’s not the only one. Three other “outcomes” like him have already met their early deaths.
Aaron’s legacy, like that of Jason Bourne’s, is being considered disposable by the U.S. government, as well as its pharma industry evil twin. In a Sterisyn-Morlanta lab, scientist Marta Shearing (Rachel Weisz), who has crossed paths with Cross on more than one occasion, finds herself under attack. Fellow scientist Dr. Foite (Zeljko Ivanek) shoots up the lab, killing six, with Shearing as the lone survivor. The event brings her unwanted attention from evil government agents, but Aaron arrives in time to save her. And so begins their journey, which takes them all the way to Manila so that Marta can attempt to “viral out” Aaron.
Helmed by Tony Gilroy (“Michael Clayton”), who also wrote the screenplays for the three previous films in the Bourne series, “The Bourne Legacy” is slightly weighed down by too much globe-hopping interwoven with flashbacks and extended chase scenes. The chemistry between Renner and Weisz is also lacking, considering the way things end (nope, not giving anything away).
Alternating between exhilaration and exhaustion, the best part of “The Bourne Legacy” is the promise of sequels where the details can be fine-tuned or genetically modified, whatever the case may be.