Tony Gilroy, who wrote most of the first three films, takes over as director in The Bourne Legacy
, and he clearly has a strong grasp on the Bourne template and mythology. Unfortunately, he lacks the narrative boldness and visual precision of previous helmers Doug Liman and Paul Greengrass. The performances are great, though. Jeremy Renner is tough and charismatic in the title role, and finds an interesting direction for it. As with the previous films, the violence in Legacy
is never just played for kicks. But the body count is higher, and the sanctioned killings treated much more casually. The moral shadings and policy debates of the first three movies are gone. This time around, the government as an entity is a stone-cold killer, and Norton as our villain is blander because of it.