The Review at a Glance: (max score: 5 )
Audio/Video total rating:
( Max score: 100 )
Studio and Year: Universal - 2012
MPAA Rating: PG-13
Feature running time: 135 minutes
Disc Format: BD-50
Encoding: AVC (MPEG-4)
Video Aspect: 2,35:1
Audio Format(s): English DTS-HD 7.1 Master Audio, DTS 5.1
Subtitles: English SDH, French, Spanish
Starring: Jeremy Renner, Rachel Weisz, Stacy Keach, Edward Norton, Oscar Issac, Scott Glenn, David Strathairn, Albert Finney, Joan Allen
Directed by: Tony Gilroy
Music by: James Newton Howard
Written by: Tony Gilroy & Dan Gilroy
Region Code: A,B,C
Blu-ray Disc release Date: December 11, 2012
The Bourne Legacy pulls back the curtain on a government secret even darker than Jason Bourne. When Bourne exposes Operation Treadstone at the end of The Bourne Ultimatum, he sparks a bonfire that threatens to burn down decades of research and development into the building of better spies and warriors. In The Bourne Legacy, audiences discover that there are actually a variety of covert intelligence programs – all of which now feel the threat of exposure. On the verge of having their conspiracy revealed, members of the government’s intelligence community will stop at nothing to erase all evidence of their top secret programs. With his life in jeopardy, agent Aaron Cross (Jeremy Renner) must use his genetically-engineered skills to survive the ultimate game of cat-and-mouse and finish what Jason Bourne started.
I am most decidedly a fan of The Bourne film series and while I didn’t get out to see The Bourne Legacy during its theatrical release I very much looked forward to seeing it. Twelve years ago, we met Jason Bourne when he was pulled unconscious from the Mediterranean. Over the course of three films, we followed his journey to survive as he worked to discover his identity. Simultaneously his CIA handlers mounted an increasingly desperate worldwide manhunt as the secrets about the Treadstone program and Bourne’s special skills and abilities, came to light culminating in trilogy’s conclusion.
The Bourne Legacy pulls back the curtain to expose a darker layer of intrigue, a deeper mythology, and introduces a new hero who must battle to stay alive when HIS program suddenly becomes a liability. Running concurrent with the events that transpired in The Bourne Ultimatum Legacy reveals that there are actually a variety of intelligence programs, that the CIA’s Treadstone was but one of the early developments and that Bourne’s actions created a tremendous anxiety that other programs may be exposed.
Retired Colonel Eric Byer, (Edward Norton) is the man who’s built these programs, fought to keep them funded and shopped them to a variety of eager U.S. intelligence services since 9/11. As it turns out he has been there along and it’s his world that’s being threatened as the CIA fails to contain Bourne and, with the realization that Treadstone’s fall will expose the close working relationship between two of his chief medical directors, Byer has no choice but to sacrifice Outcome. He must now bring to bear every resource possible and erase the infected program to preserve the rest of his work.
Aaron Cross (JEREMY RENNER) is one of six agents in a program called Outcome. Unlike the CIA’s Treadstone, Outcome agents have been developed and trained for use by the Department of Defense. More than assassins, Outcome agents are designed for use in isolated, high-risk, long-term intelligence assignments. The behavioral science that was suggested as the underpinning of the Treadstone agents has been upgraded and advanced. Their cognitive lift makes for a more adaptive and provocative skillset, however it also holds a great danger: The Outcome agents have proven difficult to control, and Cross, once cut free of the leash, makes for an even more dangerous threat to his creators.
Dr. Marta Shearing, (Rachel Weisz) is a research scientist with top-security clearance working in the laboratory responsible for developing the groundbreaking science Outcome. Her job includes monitoring the Outcome agents on the rare occasion that they pass through the area. She knows many of the Outcome agents, including Aaron. More interested in the science rather than the ethics associated with it Marta soon discovers that when the program needs to be terminated she may just be a loose end.
With his life on the line Aaron seeks out Dr. Shearing in search of the medications required to sustain his “abilities”. Together and on the run they fight to stay alive as the world around them closes in.
The Bourne Legacy has much the same feel as the first three films. The action is what you would expect and includes the requisite hand to hand encounters, weapons play and a pair of chases all of which differ little from previous installments. Depending on your point of view this isn’t necessarily a bad thing but there is no denying the feeling of been there and done that. It lacks the depth and compelling nature of its predecessors but it’s clearly not a throw away popcorn flick. The storyline is developed well enough and opens up avenues for further exploration and the production elements are top notch.
Jeremy Renner is a bonafide action star that easily stepped into the role of Aaron. He didn’t display the varied range of Matt Damon’s Jason Bourne but he pulled this off nicely and shared solid chemistry with the always reliable Rachel Weisz. The production elements are top notch which adds an enriching element to the proceedings. The conclusion leaves the door wide open for another installment so we’ll see where it goes. For now The Bourne Legacy succeeds more than fails and primarily carries on in the Bourne tradition.
The rating is for sequences of action violence and brief language.
AUDIO/VIDEO - By The Numbers:
REFERENCE = 92-100 / EXCELLENT = 83-91 / GOOD = 74-82 / AVERAGE = 65-73 / BELOW AVERAGE = under 65
**My audio/video ratings are based upon a comparative made against other high definition media/blu-ray disc.**
(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)
- Low frequency extension:
- Surround Sound presentation:
- Dialogue Reproduction:
(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)
- Black level/Shadow detail:
- Color reproduction:
The Bourne Legacy comes to Blu-ray Disc from Universal Studios Home Entertainment featuring 1080p AVC encoded video that has an average bitrate of 25 Mbps and lossless DTS-HD 7.1 Master Audio sound that has an average bitrate of 4.1 Mbps.
This is an excellent video presentation that boasts plenty of high level detail, strong contrast, deeply saturated colors, and three dimensional acuity. Blacks are punchy and stand out when onscreen with mixed content. Visual perspective in low lighting and darkened areas is estimable. The combination gives dark scenes appreciable depth. Images are dynamic, boldly colorful, clearly drawn, and perfectly suited for the source material.
The lossless 7.1 DTS-HD MA soundtrack has extended dynamic range, detail rich clarity and makes excellent use of the entire surround platform to drive the film’s elements. The music score, coupled along with the integration of discrete and ambient sound effects, plays an intricate role in this involving and engagingly active surround mix. The detection of subtle background sounds, off camera cues and spatial dimension within the room’s acoustic environment makes for a notably enveloping surround experience. Low frequency effects can be room energizing as the subwoofer works in tandem with the rest of the system to convey the low level bass and dynamic impact associated with the action based sequences. Dialogue is firmly planted in the center channel and clearly renders voices and effects with appropriate distinction and balance within the front soundstage. I thought this audio presentation enhanced the enjoyment of the film and makes for an entertaining home theater experience.
- Audio commentary by Director/co-writer Tony Gilroy, co-writer Dan Gilroy, editor John Gilroy, director of photography Robert Elswit, second unit director Dan Bradley and production designer Kevin Thompson
- (HD) Deleted scenes – 7 minutes
- (HD) Re-Bourne – 6 minute featurette
- (HD) Enter Aaron Cross – 7 minute featurette
- (HD) Crossing continents – 8 minute production featurette
- (HD) Moving targets – 6 minute featurette
- (HD) Man vs. Wolf – 5 minute featurette
- Wolf sequence attack – 2 minute storyboard sequence reel
- (HD) Capturing chaos: The motorbike chase – 8 minute production featurette
- My Scenes bookmark feature
- pocket BLU
- Bonus DVD
- Ultraviolet Digital Copy
- Digital Copy
The Bourne Legacy borrows much from its predecessors and while it doesn’t quite live up to them still has enough merit to warrant the attention of Bourne series fans. I enjoyed it and look forward to what lies in store for the next installment should there be one. The Bourne Legacy comes to Blu-ray Disc from Universal Studios Home Entertainment featuring sparkling high definition video, reference quality DTS-HD Master Audio surround sound and a decent supplemental offering that includes Blu-ray exclusive content. This is worth picking up if you’re already a fan otherwise give it a rent before buying.
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