The Bourne Legacy parents guide

The Bourne Legacy Parent Guide

Unfortunately this script forgoes on the thrill of intrigue and outwitting the enemy -- and settles for out-and-out violence.

Overall C

In this continuation of the Bourne franchise we learn Jason (Matt Damon) was not the only operator specially trained by the CIA. Now the series follows Aaron Cross (Jeremy Renner), another spy who finds his life is in jeopardy when the government agency decides to close down the program.

Release date August 10, 2012

Violence D
Sexual Content B+
Profanity C
Substance Use C+

Why is The Bourne Legacy rated PG-13? The MPAA rated The Bourne Legacy PG-13 for violence and intense action sequences.

Run Time: 135 minutes

Official Movie Site

Parent Movie Review

Don’t let a finality like ultimatum fool you into thinking the Bourne series has been put to rest. The hugely successful Bourne Trilogy has earned over $945 million to date, too much for filmmakers to let it languish in the “been there, done that” bin. So reviving the franchise with a new protagonist seems to make good financial sense.

As a sideline story to The Bourne Ultimatum, The Bourne Legacy introduces operative Aaron Cross (Jeremy Renner). In the opening scene, the bare-chested agent emerges from the icy water where he’s retrieved a cylinder of information from the bottom of a river. After dressing, he sets off across the frozen landscape, scaling a mountain and arriving at the remote cabin of another agent. Aaron seems happy enough for the human contact but he’s more interested in getting his next fix of “chems”—little blue and green pills. As part of a new program to produce assassins, scientists manipulate their genetics with the pills to make them faster, stronger and smarter. (Sounds surprisingly similar to sports doping.)

Unfortunately the lid is about to be blown on the secretive training operation and Retired Col. Eric Byer (Edward Norton) isn’t about to take the fall. Rather, he orders the immediate death of every highly trained assassin stationed around the world. This dope-them-up-for-the-sake-of-science and then dispose-of-them-like-last-week’s-garbage attitude is in Byer’s words “morally indefensible but absolutely necessary.” It also serves as the catalyst for an onslaught of on screen deaths.

Recognizing he is on the hit list, Aaron slices open his leg in a bloody operation and removes a tracking device. But that doesn’t stop Byers and his team from using other options to hunt the rogue operative, especially after Aaron teams up with Dr. Marta Shearing (Rachel Weisz), one of the medical personnel in charge of the drug program.

Unless you’re well versed in the previous films, the opening 30 minutes of this movie are confusing as characters reference one undercover operation after another. (Either hone up on the trilogy or peruse Wiki’s The Bourne Directory.) Flashbacks, meant to introduce us to the new protagonist, don’t reveal much either. And any attempt at story feels like a weak sidebar to the almost constant parade of weapon and hand-to-hand violence, explosions, detailed bloody deaths and injuries, and a graphic surgical procedure. Countless murders are carried out without a hint of remorse from the people calling (or firing) the shots. In one scene, a man locks his work collogues in a lab and then proceeds to shoot them before killing himself. In light of recent real life shootings, there isn’t much entertainment value to be found in the portrayal.

Unfortunately this story forgoes on the thrill of intrigue and outwitting the enemy to settle for out-and-out violence. Then it wraps up with a flimsy ending that feels like nothing more than a commercial break before what may be the start of a new Bourne trilogy.

Directed by Tony Gilroy. Starring Jeremy Renner, Rachel Weisz, Edward Norton. Running time: 135 minutes. Theatrical release August 10, 2012. Updated

The Bourne Legacy
Rating & Content Info

Why is The Bourne Legacy rated PG-13? The Bourne Legacy is rated PG-13 by the MPAA for violence and intense action sequences.

Violence: A man is hunted and attacked by wolves that later kill an animal. A man is shot in the head. Agents are poisoned. A man is killed when his home is blown up. A man cuts open his leg to remove a tracking device (blood is shown). A man traps his coworkers in a room and shots them before killing himself. Agents attempt to murder a woman by faking her suicide. Numerous other characters are shot, burned, beaten until bloody, attacked and chased. A character is injected with a virus. A SWAT team is sent in to kill a man. Shots are fired in public. Characters engage in a car/motorcycle race through a busy city with innocent victims injured or killed. A chemically altered man punches another and steals his bike. A character is shot in the leg with bloody results. A man is repeatedly shot in the chest. A male driver smashes into a pole and is killed. Characters undergo blood tests and injections.

Sexual Content: The script contains brief vulgar innuendo.

Language: Frequent scatological slang, terms of Deity, curses and mild profanities are used.

Alcohol / Drug Use: Characters are subjected to a drug program designed to enhance physical strength and creative thinking. However, they become dependent on the drug and begin to suffer withdrawals when the drugs are unavailable. Characters drink in social settings and a home. Some brief tobacco use is depicted.

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More parents' guide for The Bourne Legacy after the break...

The Bourne Legacy Parents' Guide

What moral and ethical issues are involved in this kind of scientific tinkering with human genetics? While the enhancements help characters heal more quickly and perform better, what are the risks of having this technology fall into the wrong hands? Is it in the wrong hands in this movie?

Who to trust is always a question in this story. How do characters decide whom to trust? Why are the government agents more interested in protecting themselves than their operatives?

How do the soldiers in the control center approach their work? Would you have to take a “clinical” approach to this kind of job, knowing that the “target” is a human being? Does Aaron have the same mindset when he kills others, either those who are after him or innocent people carrying out their jobs?

Dr. Shearing justifies her role in the program by saying she just does the research; she doesn’t create policy. Does her scientific role remove her from any responsibility in the outcome of the program and the people who are killed?

This movie franchise is based novels by Robert Ludlum.

Home Video

The most recent home video release of The Bourne Legacy movie is December 10, 2012. Here are some details…

Home Video Notes: The Bourne Legacy

Release Date: 11 December 2012

The Bourne Legacy releases to home video (Blu-ray/DVD/Digital Copy) with the following bonus extras:

- Feature Commentary with 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.

-  Capturing Chaos

- Re-Bourne

- Deleted Scenes

- Enter Aaron Cross

- Crossing Continents: Legacy on Location

- Man vs. Wolf

- Wolf Sequence Test

- Moving Targets

- Pocket Blu

Related home video titles:

The three films in the franchise preceding this one are The Bourne Identity, The Bourne Supremacy and The Bourne Ultimatum.