The story opens In Alaska with Aaron Cross (Jeremy Renner) participating in a special operations group training. He is alone surviving the elements of the wilderness such as the cold, mountains and a pack of wolves tracking him as he works his way across the treacherous terrain to a designated cabin where he is to meet with another special agent, unsure if he is friend or foe. Nice work on behalf of the director during the wolf scenes and definitely well written as Cross makes the statement that wolves usually don’t track humans. During his journey he continues to take a blue and green pill eventually running out, now in need of more. The story is a bit confusing as it moves along from character to character, situation to situation and city to city trying to tell the story of the Program and the Outcome special agents of which Cross is known as #5.
One by one when the agents show up for the regimen of pills at the government lab where they receive a physical from Dr. Marta Shearing (Rachel Weisz) eventually soon thereafter they collapse to their death. Retired Colonel Eris Byer (Edward Norton) has run the Program for years but now must shut it down terminating the Outcome agents and any others associated with the operation. The story tries to tie in Jason Bourne (Matt Damon) along with a few others from the last film but in the long run making the plot more confusing than it needed to be. If they just wrote him off in the first five minutes then continued the story with Renner’s character than it may have helped this poorly executed plot. On that note though I must say that the actors all did a nice job with the roles and the action when it occurred was truly riveting but one surely did not make up for the other when it comes to the writing. Definitely the concept was good but it just did not come out as such on the screen.
When a shooter kills several of the doctors at the lab, leaving Shearing as the sole survivor, the program tries to take matters in their own hands but with the help of Cross they fail once again. Now on the run from potential death the two must make their way to the Philippines where the pills are made in hopes of saving Cross. Green for physical strength and blue for intelligence, we discover that he has not been taking one of the colors lately but with the help of Dr. Shearing, Agent Cross may find another alternative unless they are killed first by the government they once worked for in the first place. A foot chase through the streets of Manila that leads into a riveting motorcycle chase and the introduction of a newer agent, LARX #3 (Louis Ozawa Changchien), Cross and Shearing are on the run for their lives that eventually lead them to being lost. Throughout all the excitement in the last ten minutes of the film it loses its strength with a mediocre climax.
The film definitely has its good and bad moments but for the audience perspective it is very easy to get lost throughout the story. Eventually the plot comes together but by the time it does you’re not too sure if it matters. Some nice photography and action moments make up for some of the lack luster scenes but overall like the premise of the film it leaves the audience a bit confused and lost themselves. Renner who fills the shoes of Damon definitely does a nice job and truly carries the film but tends to get lost in the so much and sometimes so little factor of what’s going on in the story. Weisz has a lot of emotions to cover with her role and for the most part makes them come across well but at times I felt like there was always something missing or that she was hiding. Norton playing the straight man of authority once again proves his worthiness along with the support of many other actors but overall with a nice cast, high octane action and some brilliant cinematography the film leaves the audience a bit lost and maybe looking for answers to questions that never really get accomplished. Maybe if they skipped on the pills in the first place and centered the plot on the agents themselves it would have made for a more interesting action packed film. My only hope is that this Bourne is not the death of Renner to carry the legacy since he was truly one of the best parts of this action adventure film. Written with 2 paws out of four, I’m Jon Patch.