I had some reservations going into this movie. I had enjoyed the first three installments of what has become a series of films. The main reason for my skepticism was that Matt Damon had headlined this entire series and I knew that he was not starring in this one. I’ve always hated it when a character is replaced in a series, but that is not what happened here. I might have known that had I read anything or maybe even just paid attention to a trailer.
Jeremy Renner, might know him from Hurt Locker or the latest Mission Impossible, stars as Aaron Cross, a genetically enhanced version of a super spy similar to what we’ve become accustomed to in the previous Bourne’s. I was pleasantly surprised by the way the plot was tied in almost concurrently with the previous movies. It did take me a little bit to figure out exactly how, but I got there eventually!
I’m a big fan of Edward Norton and I enjoyed him even in this smaller, more behind the scenes role. Renner sells the role well. He wasn’t quite as robotic as Damon’s character had been, but good. There wasn’t as much combat action this time around as in the past films. Much more time spent developing the plot and tying it all together, which was fine by me.
I do have two qualms though. First, it doesn’t make sense to me, same as in the first three movies, that one of the highly trained super spies is able to evade and out duel everyone else. It just doesn’t seem like one guy could prevail over the entire focused attention of similarly trained individuals and the resources of government backing them. Secondly, the chase scene in this movie last way too long. It seemed to go on and on forever and, of course, included ridiculous, unrealistic theatrics including grinding a motorbike down a handrail in a crowd of people. I lied. I have a third qualm. Michael Bourn, yet again, somehow does not appear in the movie. Come on, his super-speed would be so easy to incorporate.
I walked out of the theater entertained. It wasn’t spectacular, but I could’ve done worse with my time. For me, it clocks in at 2 3/4 out of 5 Beach balls.