May 31, 2012

New Bourne Legacy Trailer

This brand-new trailer for The Bourne Legacy makes it clear exactly how the new spin-off film starring Jeremy Renner (Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol) dovetails with the existing Matt Damon Jason Bourne movies... and it's interesting. There are actually quite a few clips from The Bourne Ultimatum (review here) in this trailer (and presumably in the movie, too), making it pretty clear that at least part of the new film takes place concurrently to the events of the final Damon movie. Renner plays another Treadstone assassin, which potentially opens up the franchise to any number of future possibilities. It's as if On Her Majesty's Secret Service had focused on a different Double O agent; once you do that, you can potentially make films about everyone in the department. Except, of course, if you kill them all off in the first spin-off, which seems to be a possibility based on this trailer. I was kind of looking forward to seeing a Treadstone agent actually working for the U.S. government this time out, since Bourne himself was always rogue, but it looks as if Bourne's high-profile exposure in Ultimatum causes the CIA honchos from that film (Albert Finney, David Straihthern and Scott Glenn, all returning) to order the termination of all existing Treadstone assets, which makes Renner's Aaron Cross another highly-trained man on the run rather than an active field agent. Oh well. While my overall preference still would have been for Renner or another actor to just take over the role from Damon the way so many have for Bond, this seems like a good alternative route to go in terms of expanding the Bourne universe. And, of course, it sets up the potential for a possible Renner-vs-Damon follow-up, which would be pretty cool to see. The action looks great in a non-shaky way, and even if the motorcycle chase seems derivative of Tomorrow Never Dies, it still looks awesome! I've very excited for this sequel/spin-off/whatever, opening in August. See for yourself:


Le Samourai said...

I'm not sure having a Treadstone agent who was still employed by the government would work. After all, the previous Bourne films have pretty much established that Treadstone was a corrupt, criminal program. If the protagonist worked for Treadstone, he would essentially be working for a group we have come to see as the Bad Guys.

Granted, there are ways this could work. It could be a "new" Treadstone, and the hero would have to deal with the baggage of the old program. Or we could watch as the hero gradually comes to realize Treadstone isn't on the up-and-up. That being said, I understand why the filmmakers chose the approach they did.

Tanner said...

Yeah, that's a good point. I guess I was thinking more along the lines of Treadstone in the books. But there could have been ways around it, as you say. Even a corrupt organization surely SOMETIMES fights some battles for good (like SD-6 or Division on Alias or Nikita). Just show one of those missions. Or deal with a post-Bourne Treadstone that's in better hands and better managed, or something.

I do think the approach they took will work, though. The one thing that worries me is thinking about U.S. Marshals. Remember that sequel/spin-off to The Fugitive? They had a great opportunity to tell a new story about a standout supporting character from the first film, Gerard (Tommy Lee Jones), and instead of showing him doing what he does best and actually hunting down a guilty criminal, they completely retreaded the storyline of the first film. The fugitive he was after (Wesley Snipes this time) was ALSO an innocent man, it turned out! Didn't Gerard EVER chase a guilty party? I have every bit of faith that The Bourne Legacy will be better than that, but that movie always stands out in my head as a sequel/spin-off that went wrong by simply repeating what had come before... and an agent on the run from his handlers IS a retread(stone).

Bob said...

I've always felt that the Bourne series just kept making the same film over and over. However, they did seem to make them better each time. And I have to admit, if it wasn't for Casino Royale and Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, the Bourne series would probably be the best spy film series in recent years.

Hopefully, this Treadstone will not be another re'Tread'! (groan, sorry about that)