"The Bourne Legacy" (Universal): Aaron Cross (Jeremy Renner) doesn't realize it, but he has some big shoes to fill. A soldier recruited by the CIA to be a pharma guinea pig, Aaron survives his solo time in the frozen wild and beats the best record for doing so by two days, fueled by a pair of colorful "chems". But shortly after getting the good news he finds himself under attack, narrowly escaping a missile delivered by drone. However, Aaron's not the only one. Three other "outcomes" like him have already met their early death.
Image: Jeremy Renner in The Bourne Legacy Courtesy: Mary Cybulski/Universal Studios
Aaron's legacy (like that of Jason Bourne's), as it turns out, is being considered disposable by the US government, as well as its pharma industry evil twin, in this case Sterisyn-Morlanta. Meanwhile, in a Sterisyn-Morlanta lab, scientist Marta Shearing (Rachel Weisz), who has crossed paths with Cross on more than one occasion, finds herself under attack. Fellow scientist Dr. Foite (Zeljko Ivanek) shoots up the lab, killing six, with Shearing as the lone survivor. The event brings her unwanted attention from evil government agents, but Aaron arrives in time to save her. And so begins their journey, which takes them all the way to Manila so that Marta can attempt to "viral out" Aaron.
Helmed by Tony ("Michael Clayton") Gilroy, who also wrote the screenplays for the three previous films in the Bourne series, "The Bourne Legacy" is slightly weighed down by too much globe-hopping set-up interwoven with flashbacks and extended chase scenes. The chemistry between Renner and Weisz is also lacking, considering the way things end (nope, not giving anything away). Alternating between exhilaration and exhaustion, the best part of "The Bourne Legacy" is the promise of sequels where the details can be fine-tuned or genetically modified, whatever the case may be.
"Total Recall" (Columbia): In the late 21st century, following the catastrophic destruction of a global chemical war, Doug (a fit Colin Farrell) works in a factory in the Colony where they manufacture the synthetic police force. The Colony, one of two surviving nations (the other being the United Federation of Britain) is basically a territory of workers. The Fall, a transport vehicle that shuttles people back and forth between the two continents, is seen as both a modern convenience and means of enslavement.
Photo Courtesy: Columbia Pictures
Happily married to UFB cop Lori (the robotic Kate Beckinsale), his sleep is regularly interrupted by the "same dream" at the "same time." But Doug's boring life hits a glitch following a visit to Rekall, an establishment that sells complete sets of memories to its clientele. Before you can say Arnold Schwarzenegger, it's revealed that Doug isn't who he thinks he is. In fact, he's Hauser, a spy with a skill set that would make Jason Bourne jealous. Lori, who was simply biding her time until Hauser revealed himself, then proceeds to do everything in her power to destroy him. But ruthless and corrupt ruler Cohaagen (Bryan Cranston) wants him brought in alive.
What follows is a series of extended chase and fight scenes, peppered with a potential love interest developing between fellow agent Melina (Jessica Biel) and set pieces that unapologetically recall those from "Blade Runner". Farrell, who doesn't spend enough time shirtless, is a natural action/adventure hero and is totally the reason for seeing "Total Recall."