See what I did there?! - I cleverly laced the movie title into my post title, eluding to a future for the movie. Upvotes for me!!!
Just kidding... But only sort of. The truth is that I think that there could have been a better ending to Bourne: Legacy. Now, don't get me wrong, I thought this was a good addition to the story line of the Jason Bourne legend. We all knew that Matt Damon wasn't coming back for the fourth movie, and for better or worse we were going to live with it and see what happened.
Without Matt Damon's character of Jason Bourne, they obviously had to take the movie in a different direction because it's tough to recast a character after 3 films with the same actor. So enter Jeremy Renner, and his addition to the story Aaron Cross.
Aaron Cross is the next evolution of the Bourne-like super soldier. Rather than training and conditioning like Jason underwent, the new evolution is created by chemicals that induce high intelligence and extreme strength and motor control functioning. So it essence Aaron and the other "Operation Outcome" agents are sucking down Adderall, Ritalin & Steroids to reach levels higher than any normal human. No big deal, right?
Let's jump into the story near the end:
Aaron & Marta (Rachel Weisz) land in Manila, in hopes that they can use the medical facility that produced the "chems" for the Outcome agents, to in effect cure his need for popping the blue chem. At this same time Eric (Edward Norton) and his team (NRAG) realize that Aaron and Marta are working together and that they have gone to Manilla. Eric's team instructs the warehouse to be shut down and a team of guards go off to find Aaron. Easily subdued, because come on he can't be captured by a couple rent-a-guards.
Now to escape, they create some chaos and escape amidst the flocking factory workers.
Back to Eric. He now decides that things are getting out of control and activates an assassin, enter one more Beta Test Creation to create a super human assassin (Bum Bum Bum)... This program is NRAG's brainchild, LARX. It's the newest and even more black-ops government program of super soldiers.
Treadstone without the inconsistencies. Outcome without the emotional noise.
Enter the proverbial spy movie car/motorcycle/high speed chase scene. This time through Manila and concluding in an empty parking structure.
The chase between the assassin "LARX-3" and Aaron/Marta is concluded by a crash into a cement column. Goodbye dental plan. Afterwards Marta asks a local to help them get away. Leaving the final scene of them on a boat in the middle of open water studying maps.
Wait!?! What just happened? --- We're now onto the 4th edition of a human genome/drug induced/physical modification/super soldier program --- and he gets kicked into a cement pillar, and they escape on a boat? ---- That's the best ending we could come up with?
That's piss-pour effort in my book, but I guess that's why I'm writing this article in the first place. It needs a new ending. So lets begin:
Let's return to Manila where Aaron & Marta approach the factory to "stem" him off the chems. Let's assume that they can't get into the factory through the persuasion of Marta's character reaching out to the security guard there. This is when the actual stealth is paramount. If you remember the scene from Bourne:Identity where Jason Bourne is escaping the consulate office, and scales the building. I see a similar style scene where Aaron scouts out the building and finds a way inside during the day versus at night like as in the original version.
At the same time Byer and the NRAG team are on their way to Manila, discussing how to handle Operation Outcome. A conversation is had, that goes something like this:
Byer: We need to finish this, now. We can't have this blow up like Treadstone & Blackbriar. Pamela got it all wrong with those programs. Outcome was good, but our Beta Tests need to survive.
Vendel: How do you imagine that we bring him down? - He's already come this far. If we lose him in Manila, we may never see him again.
Byer: (Looking at Mandy & Ingram) Activate LARX-03.
Vendel: Do you really think that's necessary?
*Now Vendel is starting to doubt Byer's leadership, and questions his morality in the whole thing*
Byer: (turns to look out the window) Yes. LARX is my program, and I can't afford for one man to bring down all my work.
Vendel looks at the rest of the team as they are reaching out to LARX-03, and then Byer pulls out his phone and sends a message to an unknown recipient that says:Get to Manila, now.
Cut back to Aaron & Marta as they find their way into the factory through a more black-ops style entrance. Marta finds the necessary culture and injects Aaron with the live stems that will allow him to function without his blue chems. A method as yet, untested which she reiterates to him. Aaron starts to feel the flu-like symptoms take effect and they escape the factory just missing Byer, NREG and the LARX operative.
Byer pulls the LARX operative (LARX-03) aside and has a similar conversation as he once had with Aaron in Somalia:
We are the sin eaters. It means that we take the moral excrement we find in this equation and bury it deep down inside of us, so that the rest of our case can stay pure. We are morally indefensible, and definitely necessary.
Byer continues with his mantra of being necessary and has a sort of off-camera conversation with LARX-03, while the scene is focused on Vendel looking at a set of computer screens showing security footage of Aaron & Marta as they inject Aaron with the cultures. Vendel calls Byer over.
Vendel: What are they doing? ... Is she trying to? ... It's not possible, they were never able to stabilize it.
Byer: What! What hasn't been tested.
Vendel: I think they're trying to stem him off his blues? - He may not survive.
Byer: (Looks to LARX-03) Go find them. (Backs away from Vendel) ...I can't have any loose ends.
Byer picks up a syringe from a nearby counter and plunges it into Vendel's neck. Vendel falls to the floor and tries to scramble away but he's having difficulty controlling his body. Byer sits at the computer and starts erasing the video footage. Vendel falls limp as his eyes glass over and Byer makes a phone call.
Byer: I need you in Manila to clean something up. Click.
Scene cuts back to the motel room where Marta is trying to soothe Aaron as he fights off the symptoms of his injection. Aaron has flashbacks to his training with Outcome in the mountains from the beginning of the movie. A cut-scene of sorts with the operative (Outcome-3) stationed in the cabin.
Outcome-3: I never though that this is what I was signing up for.
Aaron: You fell in love, what did you think would happen?
Outcome-3: I thought they'd let me leave, instead she's dead and I'm here meeting you.
Aaron: (looks at him and starts to speak) ... wh...
Aaron wakes up, and calls for Marta, "We need to leave right now." - Marta starts grabbing supplies and packing a bag. Aaron scribbles something down on a scrap paper and the two race out of the building and as they escape down a corridor, suddenly Aaron sees LARX-03 coming towards them. They both stop and lock eyes. Aaron doesn't turn, but says to Marta, "I need you to go. Just go. Now. Don't look back." Marta argues and tries to pull Aaron with her, but he resists and shouts at her as he hands her the scrap paper. He charges at LARX-03 and Marta starts running when she sees LARX-03 pull out a pistol and point it down the corridor. Aaron ducks down another path and LARX-03 follows him.
Aaron leads him away from Marta as he weaves through the building corridors. Aaron ducks into a building and comes out a nearby door surprising LARX-03 with a sucker punch, and he drops his pistol. Aaron continues racing through buildings as he is followed by LARX-03. He throws something at Aaron causing him to lose his balance and LARX-03 catches up and the Bourne-style fist fight ensues, with LARX-03 being the apparently stonger and faster one. LARX-03 shoves Aaron through a window, Aaron rolls through it, bruised and bleeding and he scrambles away. Aaron races through the buildings with LARX-03 on his tail.
Meanwhile Marta stops to catch her breath and she looks down at the note in her hand. It reads: Go back to where I met you. I will find you. Marta catches her breath and looks around and heads off reaching out to a local fisherman to help her get away.
Still running from LARX-03, Aaron reaches an opening lined by trees, he races towards the trees. LARX-03 fires off a shot from the pistol and nicks Aaron in his leg causing him to stumble and fall to the ground.
LARX-03 walks over to him, looks down and raises his pistol to shoot him in the head. *Gunshot rings through the air* LARX's pistol falls from his hand and the camera pans to the red blood seeping through his shirt, as he crumples to the ground.
Camera pans to Outcome-5 with a rifle, as he stands up from his prone position the camera pans back to Aaron as he sighs heavily and drops his head.
Aaron: You wait until now to help me?
Outcome-5: I was still deciding if I was going to kill him before or after he shot you again. You're a pain in the a**.
Aaron: (half-smiling) Thanks...
Outcome-5: (walks over to help Aaron stand) I hope this plan of yours works.
Aaron: It's time to see if it does. (They walk off together)
Camera cuts back to Byer as he is approached by a familiar face, Paz - the final assassin from Bourne:Ultimatum.
Byer: I need you to clean this mess up.
Paz: I thought you said you'd never need me again.
Byer: The situation has changed, you lost Bourne, and this is how you make up for that. Clean up this mess. (Byer points back into the factory office where Vendel lays dead) Get rid of him, then go to this address and make the rest disappear. I need a clean slate.
Paz: (nods and walks off as Byer takes a phone call)
Byer: This is Eric Byer.
Scene cuts back to Aaron and Outcome-3, Aaron ends a phone call (eluding that he had just called Byer) as he gets into a car with Outcome-3.
Aaron: Let's go. It's time to finish this.
Outcome-3: Where are we going now?
Aaron: Back to the start. It ends now.
I think that creating an ending like this could lead into a new direction for the movie, and potential follow-ups. It could link into the previous Beta-Programs, all the way back to Emerald Lake (pre-Jason Bourne) and we could get into more of the overarching story of who originally decided that we needed to start super-soldier programs. It could also be shown how involved Eric Byer was from the beginning and showcase his newest program LARX as Aaron & Outcome-3 uncover a bigger scandal than what was uncovered in the original Bourne trilogy.