At least he knows who he is. That’s about all I can say about how I believe Jeremy Renner’s character, Aaron Cross, is superior to Jason Bourne.
Cross is the next generation of super-soldiers after Bourne’s class. Dependent on performance-enhancing drugs, he finishes a mission and waits for his next assignment. In that time, he and another super-soldier get wind that they are under attack. Cross survives and makes the CIA believe that he is dead. The other one is not so lucky. Trained to not miss a dose and fearful that missing them will hurt or kill him, he seeks out anyone who can help him find a supply because his is almost depleted.
In the meantime (and how this story connects to 2007’s Bourne Ultimatum), Simon Ross, a reporter from the Guardian begins writing details about the Treadstone and Blackbriar projects. Reacting to the leak, government officials, led by retired Colonel Eric Byer (Edward Norton), set a plan to murder all involved to tie up any loose ends. The assassins are murdered by each other or their handlers. Cross, believed dead, is left to fend for himself in Alaska.
The government scientists behind the projects are murdered one-by-one in a terrifying attack. Before the final doctor could be murdered, the killer is shot dead. Dr. Marta Shearing (Rachel Weisz) is the lone person who can answer Cross’ questions and provide the pills he desperately needs. After saving Shearing, both of them attempt to escape an international manhunt while finding the pills that gives Cross his edge.
Many of the articles I read say that Renner’s character is superior to Matt Damon’s Jason Bourne. I say that’s nonsense. They way that Aaron Cross is written and acted, you feel like he is Jason Bourne without the amnesia. The action is tense, but like the character, you feel like it has all happened before. The director of this film, Tony Gilroy, helped write all four screenplays, so he is familiar with the material. Many of the fight scenes and chases seemed plagiarized from Paul Greengrass’ Bourne films. In my opinion, using some elements is wise, but Gilroy takes too many liberties. Greengrass is quoted as saying that a fourth film would have to be called the ”Bourne Redundancy.” This film helped make him look like Nostradamus. With almost $213,000,000 (worldwide gross as of September 24, 2012) reasons and counting, the cries of unoriginality will surely be drowned out. All that said, it was fun to watch.
2 ½ stars out of 5