The Box Office is finally upturned by new arrivals, lead by the first and only truly enduring American spy: Jason Bourne. Although The Dark Knight Rises probably contributes a lot more to cinema than the new films on the block, its reign has at long last—and as I prophesized—passed on its fourth weekend out due to the legacy of Jason Bourne, quite literally.

The original Bourne trilogy stands, as is, a remarkable exercise in both perfectly adapting a novel and creating a superior action yarn. Much how The Bourne Identity removes The Jackal character altogether, the series maintains the feel of author Robert Ludlum’s novels while giving the character the best of what the medium of film has to uniquely offer.

The stories were continuous within their own universe, the third installment beginning exactly at the end of the second, and the sense of urgency and culmination is ever-present and haunting. The title Ultimatum itself should have been clear enough to the studios that perhaps they couldn’t have adapted another Ludlum novel rather than continue a finished product?

So the issue Legacy has is finding a reason to exist. Although Jeremy Renner has a kinetic sense of presence, the characters along his filmography all share mostly the same attitude of relentlessness and fearlessness, particularly in SWAT, The Hurt Locker, The Town, and now here.

For a writer directing, The Bourne Legacy is a valiant effort. But it misses the purpose of a series that very distinctly concluded, and well, at that—which is no easy task. Many series falter with at least one installment. As far as most fans are concerned, this is a separate entity, but a required watch only for enjoying the earlier films.

Will Ferrell is well known for depicting President Bush in his You’re Welcome America act, and Zach Galifianakis known for oddballs—but while both actors are in their comfort zone, a weak script cannot decent comedic performances salvage. The Campaign will surely drop out of the box office like the C student it (unfortunately) is. Find your strengths again, Ferrell, you can do it!

Paranorman should command the lead next weekend, reeling in young audiences—however, its disadvantage is the horror element, and Sylvester Stallone’s homage to pointless testosterone. We shall see what critics’ first impression is of the latter.

 

THE BOURNE LEGACY                        $40,265,000

THE CAMPAIGN                                 $27,440,000

THE DARK KNIGHT RISES                  $19,540,000

HOPE SPRINGS                                 $15,600,000

TOTAL RECALL (2012)                        $8,100,000

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