The Bourne Legacy, a movie that does not feature a character with the last name "Bourne" in it, opens this weekend. Instead of Matt Damon as Jason Bourne, Legacy brings us Jeremy Renner (S.W.A.T.) as Aaron Cross, one of Jason Bourne's never-before-seen -- but maybe even more dangerous -- co-workers. Will you want to see a Bourne movie without Jason Bourne? As always, we ask and answer every question that you could possibly have about The Bourne Legacy.
Q: Does Jason Bourne appear at all in The Bourne Legacy?
Q: Not even as a cameo or footage from the prior three movies?
A: No. But he is seen in a photo and his name is mentioned. A lot.
Q: How soon into The Bourne Legacy is Jason Bourne first mentioned?
A: Five minutes.
Q: When does The Bourne Legacy take place in relation to the other three Bourne movies?
A: The Bourne Legacy's plot begins about two thirds of the way through The Bourne Ultimatum -- going as far to intersplice some non-Jason Bourne related Ultimatum scenes throughout the first third of the film.
Q: If I haven't seen The Bourne Ultimatum in quite some time, will I have any idea what's going on during the first third of The Bourne Legacy?
A: Not really.
Q: If The Bourne Legacy doesn't focus on Jason Bourne, then who is the main character?
A: The Bourne Legacy introduces us to a new secret agent named Aaron Cross (Jeremy Renner), who is the focus of The Bourne Legacy.
Q: Are Aaron Cross and Jason Bourne friends?
A: No. In fact, they have never met.
Q: Does Aaron Cross have amnesia, too, like Jason Bourne did in the first three films?
A: No. (Though, after watching The Bourne Legacy, I wish that I developed amnesia.) When we first meet Cross, he's involved in some sort of training mission in Alaska.
Q: Is Aaron Cross an equal of Jason Bourne?
A: Cross, we are led to believe, has a superior skill set to that of Bourne as a result of a daily dose of pills that he ingests. They are supplements that increase Cross' physical and cognitive abilities.
Q: Wait, what? I don't remember Jason Bourne having to take any pills that enhance his abilities.
A: Apparently this is a new aspect of the program that Bourne and Cross are both a part of -- implemented sometime after we first meet Jason Bourne in The Bourne Legacy.
Q: So what is the plot of The Bourne Legacy? Is Aaron Cross assigned a mission? Is he assigned to find Jason Bourne?
A: No. A government official named Eric Byer (Edward Norton) decides to end the program that Cross belongs to after this whole Bourne fiasco. One by one, the agents in the program are assassinated -- but Cross survives.
Q: When you mention "this whole Bourne fiasco," are you referring to the quality of The Bourne Legacy?
A: Not yet. But I will.
Q: After the assassination attempt, does Cross vow revenge? Is that the plot of The Bourne Legacy?
A: No. After the attempt on Cross' life, he realizes that he is dangerously low on the pills that makes him strong and smart. So, he must find some more of these pills.
Q: OK? I mean, will Aaron Cross die if he doesn't get these pills.
A: It is mentioned that coming off of these pills "won't be pretty," but it's never explicitly mentioned that Cross will expire without taking these pills.
Q: How will Cross get more pills?
A: Cross tracks down a scientist named Marta Shearling (Rachel Weisz), who was in charge of administering these pills. Her life is now in danger, too.
Q: Once Cross finds Shearling, does he get his pills?
A: OK, this is where things get kind of silly. First, Shearling explains that one of the pills, the one responsible for strength, Cross doesn't even need because he's been "viraled on" to it already -- whatever that means. So the only pill he needs is the one responsible for his advanced cognitive skills.
Q: Oh. So, Cross could keep his super-human strength, but with the intelligence of a normal human being. That doesn't sound so bad. Based on this, is this when Cross now vows revenge against Eric Byer?
A: Unfortunately, no. Cross explains to Shearling that his IQ score wasn't even good enough to get him into the U.S. Army, so he really needs these pills. Unfortunately, Shearling does not have any access to these pills.
Q: Wasn't good enough to get into the U.S. Army? Wasn't Forrest Gump in the U.S. Army?
A: Forrest Gump, like Aaron Cross, is a fictional character.
Q: So, if Shearling doesn't have access to these pills, is the rest of The Bourne Legacy the story of a once intelligent man who recedes into the own darkness of his mind? Maybe reminiscent of what we saw in movies like Awakenings and The Curious Case of Benjamin Button? The Bourne Legacy sounds really touching.
A: No. The two travel to Manilla to look for a solution before Cross loses his intelligence.
Q: OK, but after that, does Cross then vow revenge?
A: No, the search for the intelligence supplements is the plot of The Bourne Legacy.
Q: Do we ever see the effects of intelligence loss during The Bourne Legacy?
A: If you're referring to me after watching this movie for two hours, then yes.
Q: Would a better title have been Bourne Stupid?
A: Stop it.
Q: Is The Bourne Legacy a bad movie?
A: The Bourne Legacy is well shot and the action sequences are pretty much on par with the other three films. And even Jeremy Renner does a nice job of stepping into the lead role of a movie that happens to have another character's name in the title. It's just that the plot of this movie is so ... unremarkable. I mean, the entire plot is, "I'm sad because I lost my smart pills. Let's find more."
Q: Does Aaron Cross ever vow revenge against his would be assassins?
A: No! And you would think at one point that he might. I guess to separate Cross from Bourne, they didn't want him showing up in New York City, trying to get to the bottom of what happened. Instead, the plot focuses on finding these pills while constantly fleeing. Whether it's to distance itself from the other three movies or not, because of this, The Bourne Legacy has no third act. It just ... ends. And I didn't want it to end because there's quite a bit still unresolved.
Q: If you're going to be blurbed in this weekend's commercial for The Bourne Legacy, what quote do you think will be used?
A: "I didn't want it to end!" Mike Ryan, The Huffington Post
Mike Ryan is senior entertainment writer for The Huffington Post. You can contact him directly on Twitter.
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