The Bourne Legacy parkour'd into theaters today, and we weren't surprised to find that Aaron Cross, our Super Spy du jour played by the unassailably awesome Jeremy Renner, has plenty to teach the world about the life undercover: Don't fight a pack of wolves without a weapon; Don't fall in love; Don't fall in love with a pack of wolves, and so on.
What did surprise us, though, is how much solid back-to-school advice Cross' espionage antics provided for us. Maybe we missed the point. But here are seven and a half things we learned about going to school from The Bourne Legacy. (Spoiler alert, especially at 7.5.)
1. Always Pack Your Own Lunch
A lot of Aaron Cross' problems could've been solved if he picked up his own Super Spy meds from CVS instead of letting some strange government scientist lady give him anonymous injections every few months. Learn from his mistake, and pack your own lunch. You never know when mom might be trying to slip you a Do The Dishes Better tablet in your tofurkey Po' boy.
2. Don't Skip P.E.— Ever
We know, this sounds like a bag of bollocks, but your physical education is far more likely to save your life some day than how many digits of pi you can recite from memory. Just ask Aaron Cross! Do you think he learned to scamper up the sides of three-story manor houses and vault across snowy death canyons by performing a killer close reading of To Kill A Mockingbird? Didn't think so. Go to gym—every time, even if it sucks. You never know when the day you skip could be Escaping A Ninja Assassin Via Korean Shantytown Rooftop Chase day.
3. Pack a Spare ____ [Pencil, Notebook, Aluminum Codpiece]
When Cross is fleeing an attack drone through the Alaskan tundra and takes a minute to duct tape what appears to be an aluminum bowl of stovetop popcorn around his spy privates, you can bet he didn't just pick that up at Santa's workshop. Cross came prepared: prepared to mask the GPS signal in his thigh with the goofiest codpiece ever. Follow his example and prepare for the worst on your first day back to class. You never can have too many pencils, erasers, notecards, flash drives, graphing calculators, or Spiderman lunchboxes sewn into discrete compartments around your body for when the going gets tough and your backpack gets remanded by a corrupt government agency/hall monitor.
4. Pay Attention in Shop Class
It's true that we've never seen a Bond or a Bourne run behind a tree in the midst of an epic firefight and breathlessly carve a bird feeder. But you can bet if any of these savvy spies needed, for some reason, to summon a flock of henchman-starved hummingbirds on the fly, they'd be up to the project. Why? Cause spies pay attention in shop class. Just look how quickly Cross turns a fire extinguisher into a deadly nail gun. You don't learn that from watching Discovery Channel. You learn that from the ramblings of a half-crazed, probably ex-military shop teacher with nothing left to lose. Find one.
5. Face Your Bullies Head-On
Most of life's antagonizers will flee at the first hint of danger, but some bullies, like that Alaskan alpha wolf who just would not rest until he took himself a juicy mouthful of Spy Butt, must be dealt with directly. If man or wolf refuses to leave you alone, consider doing what Cross does: force feed them a GPS tracker and eat walnuts while you watch them flee from drone missiles.
6. Always Wear a Helmet
As we are reminded in Bourne's climactic motorcycle chase, it's not your own driving you have to worry about: it's the other guy's. Even if you're a Korean officer of the law who has gone bowlegged as a wishbone from all the mounted policework you've done every day of your life since the Big Wheel years, you never know when a cranky, pill-popping spy is going to railroad you into a Ramen truck. Wear a helmet, and the life you save could be your own. Also it's a great prop for hitting people.
7. Be Nice to Everyone The First Time You Meet Them
After secret agent scientist Dr. Marta Shearing (Rachel Weisz) narrowly survives a traumatic workplace shooting spree, she has few friends left to turn to. Later, when a government psychotherapist battalion comes to visit her unexpectedly after the tragedy, Marta is justifiably frazzled. But they all sit down at her kitchen table and have a nice chat for a few minutes. Remember, a stranger is just a friend you haven't met!
7.5 …Until They Try To Frame You For Your Own Suicide
Then again, sometimes those friends you haven't met are actually fiendish bullies/counter-spies who want to poop all over your party and hide your accomplishments from the world. If that proves to be the case, as it does in Marta's kitchen, kindness and compliance only go so far. If you feel something important to you (i.e. your science fair project, a special study guide, the specific shape of your head) is in jeopardy from these jerks, feel free to call in your best super-soldier buddy to whomp their keesters. Nobody can blame you for giving a stranger the benefit of the doubt, and then pushing them down a staircase cause they suck.
What other lessons did you take from The Bourne Legacy?