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Bourne Legacy, The (DQ)


Stars: Jeremy Renner, Rachel Weisz, Edward Norton, Donna Murphy, Dennis Boutsikaris, Stacy Keach, Michael Chernus, Scott Glenn, Albert Finney, David Strathairn, Oscar Isaac, Joan Allen

Director: Tony Gilroy

Although it takes a while to get into its plot (which is simple enough once you work out what's going on), this is every bit as much of a high-octane thrill as a top Bond movie, globetrotting giddily under a furious pace, and climaxing in a terrific 20-minute chase across the rooftops and streets of Manila.

Powers-that-be (headed by an implacable Norton) have decided to shut down the Bourne programme of 'enhanced' operatives. Bourne himself is still at large, but other 'drone' members either drop dead by remote control are or blasted in the wilderness by missiles,

But one, Aaron (Renner) escapes, more by luck than judgment. Yes, just like in the old fantasy film, Number Five is alive!

The scientists who worked on the project must also apparently die, so one (the sinister Zeljko Ivanek) is programmed to kill the rest. Again, however, there's a survivor, Marta (Weisz), although a crack team is promptly sent to her home to arrange her 'suicide'. Aaron flies in just in time to dispatch the 'D' squad and the two go on the run together for the rest of the film, which proves poundingly exciting and sometimes even tense stuff, punctured only by pauses for Weisz to mop Renner's literally fevered brow, as the effects of his 'enhancing' medication start to wear thin.

The chemistry between the stars is good, and Weisz is excellent throughout, pulling together the threads of scientist, fugitive and romantic heroine to make a wholly believable character. Judging by her earliest screen performances, this must be the most improved actress on the face of the planet. Renner, impressively doing much of his own stuntwork, is as flinty as Bond and just as lethal, although romance is left on the side until a rather abrupt ending, as our fugitives sail off over the horizon, presumably in search of a sequel.

David Quinlan

USA/Canada 2012. UK Distributor: Universal. Colour by deluxe.
135 minutes. Widescreen. UK certificate: 12A.

Guidance ratings (out of 3): Sex/nudity 0, Violence/Horror 1, Drugs 0, Swearing 0.

Review date: 11 Aug 2012