Months before “The Bourne Legacy” hit theaters, the superhero smash “The Avengers” told us Jeremy Renner is a first-rate action hero.
So when “Legacy” arrived in theaters late summer with the erstwhile Hawkeye taking over for Matt Damon, we knew the spy franchise was in capable hands.
Yet the film, out this week on Blu-ray and DVD, isn’t as sneaky or satisfying as its predecessors. Blame a lack of chemistry between Renner’s Aaron Cross and co-star Rachel Weisz, or a story which plods along too long before it exploits an abundance of testosterone-laced action.
The Blu-ray extras include “Re-Bourne,” where the creative team discuss how writer/director Tony Gilroy’s presence gave the film a sense of continuity. Gilroy penned the first three “Bournes” before sliding into his new duties behind the camera.
The new film, we’re told, opens the door on a pharmaceutical-industrial complex, or Big Pharma for the uninitiated. It also overlaps precisely to parts of “The Bourne Ultimatum,” a jigsaw puzzle of a plot where sequences from “Legacy” directly match up with the last Damon-led feature.
The best Blu-ray goody involves an extensive breakdown of the movie’s wolf sequence. We watch several wolf “screen tests” as well as an animal trainer explain how some meat treats, animatronic wolves and camera tricks made it all possible.
“The wolf is not great at tolerating the camera being over its back,” the trainer says, the reason why they used wolf hybrids who were easier to coax for such perspectives.
“Capturing Chaos: The Motorcycle Chase” is equally vivid in showing us how the film’s signature action sequence came to be. Turns out Renner knew his way around a Harley before the first day of the shoot and worried more about his co-star clinging to his back than his own well being.
Universal is already talking up a fifth “Bourne” feature, giving Renner a second chance to match Damon’s franchise highlights.