Five Reasons To See 'The Bourne Legacy'

New blood makes this expansion worthy of a watch.

There was never just one. Sure, Aaron Cross is no Jason Bourne, but that doesn't mean he isn't one hell of a government operative nonetheless.

An expansion on author Robert Ludlum's world of secrets and spies, "The Bourne Legacy" is set concurrently with the events of the 2007 Matt Damon-starring "Bourne Ultimatum" and features Jeremy Renner as an Outcome agent who's overstayed his welcome on Earth — at least according to his employers — so he runs for his life with the beautiful Dr. Marta Shearing (Rachel Weisz) on his arm.

Written and directed by Tony Gilroy (who also wrote the screenplay for the first three "Bourne" films), the actioner packs a similar punch to the original trilogy: all of the dirty bureaucrats, gritty fight sequences and splashy car chases are here, yet it's clear the franchise is operating under a whole new regime.

Here are five reasons to see "The Bourne Legacy," now in theaters:

Bourne Again

If 2007's "Bourne Ultimatum" left you with any burning questions, it's likely "Bourne Legacy" will provide at least a few answers. As mentioned above, the events of "Bourne Legacy" pick up in the middle of "Bourne Ultimatum," following through its conclusion and continuing to build and expand upon the threequel's world, while firmly standing on its own merits.

"It completely does its own thing," Weisz told MTV News of "Bourne Legacy." "It introduces new characters, but it lifts the curtain on the first three films. It sort of says, 'If you think you know who was in charge, you were wrong. This is who is really in charge.' [You see] the men behind the curtain pulling the puppet strings."

Jeremy Renner's A New Sort Of Agent

Damon was always all business as Jason Bourne — and we liked it. But as Alex Cross, Renner brings the slightest touch of levity and warmth to his on-the-run agent, proving he's more man than machine. And you know what? We liked that too.

Steady Eddie

If there was a chief gripe about "The Bourne Ultimatum," it had to be the film's close-cropped, often shaky fight sequences, which left at least a few moviegoers feeling queasy. Expect less of that herky-jerky style under Gilroy's direction.

"I really enjoyed the hand-to-hand [fight sequences], the stuff you cannot fake, the stuff that cameras can't do any trickery to make look better or worse," Renner recalled of the shoot. "So that's where I put a lot of time spent as well, into the hand-to-hand stuff."

Hollywood's Next Big Talent?

The "Bourne" movies have something of a legacy of propelling their little-known assassins into box-office staples. As my colleague Brian Phares pointed out, both Clive Owen and Karl Urban took turns as sharp-shooters before hitting it big in future films. Will "Legacy" hit man Louis Ozawa Changchien break out in a similar fashion? Only time will tell, but wouldn't it be nice to say you knew him when?

Nostalgic Nuggets

If you really find yourself missing the original "Bourne" trilogy, take solace in the visual and aural callbacks to the originals, which may just inspire a complete re-watch of Bourne's battle for his identity.

Check out everything we've got on "The Bourne Legacy."

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