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I’m going to make things easy for myself as I slink back to my poor neglected blog so it’s film review time. Last night, on a whim, we went to see The Bourne Legacy. It is always easier to be surprised when expectations aren’t part of the equation ( The Dark Knight Rises somehow fell a bit short of what I’d hoped for and certainly didn’t better its predecessor). So, unusually for me, without having read a single review I found myself sitting in the dark of the cinema waiting for the fourth Bourne to unfold.

The Bourne Legacy does more than simply take up where The Bourne Ultimatum left off. More of an overlapping sequel, the action initially plays out in parallel with the tail-end of Ultimatum and continues with on-going references to the fallout from events in the third film, especially the FBI investigation following Jason Bourne and Pamela Landy’s exposé of the Treadstone Project and Operation Blackbriar. The effect is an intelligent, layered thriller which plays with any easy assurance that the CIA bad guys might get their comeuppance thanks to Landy and Bourne’s efforts

Of course this is a Bourne without Matt Damon – the net widens as we’re introduced to a fellow black ops agent, Aaron Cross (an excellent Jeremy Renner) whose story demonstrates the extent of the CIA’s dubious intelligence-gathering programme. Its moral ambivalence is personified by Edward Norton’s ruthless character who poses some genuine questions about how far the ‘free world’ will go to keep itself free of threats, real or imagined.

It works as a both thriller and an action movie although there are less car chases than the original trilogy but just as much tension. Of course it leaves the door open for a follow-up (will Bourne and Cross meet?) which on the strength of the first four, I would be queuing up to see.

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