After the 2012 release of the fourth film in the Bourne franchise without the involvement of Matt Damon, or two time Bourne series director Paul Greengrass 2016 reunited the pair with “Jason Bourne”. When the Bond films were rebooted with Casino Royale in 2006 much credit was given to the Bourne franchise for bringing the spy genre movie back to earth by using a limited amount of technology and more hand to hand combat and general wits to overcome obstacles. With the latest installment in the Bourne series an aged Matt Damon stars as an aged Jason Bourne who is still attempting to stay far away from the people that would either use him as a weapon or see him discarded. While it was good to see another Bourne film with Matt Damon, this one was not necessarily a break from what we are used to seeing in these movies.
A few thoughts about Jason Bourne:
- Extremely convoluted plot – Leaving the theater a viewer can expect to forget the details of why anyone on screen is motivated to do anything they did. Per usual in the Greengrass installments of this series the focus is more on the chase, and the stunts and creating a “thriller” feel. Plot definitely feels secondary here, however for some this may be a plus as we explore in point 2.
- Very good action – The viewer can expect to be on the edge of their seat for some of the action scenes in this movie. Including a very long car chase on the Vegas strip involving a SWAT truck, as well as a very intimate execution, this film did not hold back with the body count. For viewers that want to see action on the big screen, this film delivers.
- Too much chase – Much of the previous installments in “The Bourne Supremacy” and “The Bourne Ultimatum” involved the usual scenes of two people completing separate tasks to find each other but cut together in order to give the viewer the anxious feeling that one will find the other before the second outsmarts the first. This makes the film feel very familiar in a tired way. The viewer can almost always expect Bourne to come out on top which makes the actions of almost everyone else seem futile.
- Old Matt Damon – (and older Julia Stiles) really worked for this film. As far as thinking about how the character has aged and how being older would affect and haunt a former assassin, Old Matt Damon is perfectly cast in this role. At times the viewer can expect to look at his weathered face on camera and completely believe that he is now the haggard former assassin that has never been able to find the peace that he seeks
- Extremely relevant subject matter – The plot in this film (albeit convoluted as mentioned before) still manages to hit on some of the fears that the US faces today. By weaving a subplot (eventually mainplot) that involves a major social media company and dealing with the CIA’s desire to neutralize threats the film feels like it kept up with the trend even in terrorism, or what a threat would look like in 2016. This made the film feel a little more relevant while it still leaned heavily on the action
- Flat women characters – There are two women characters in this movie. One of them I would have loved to see more of, as her backstory is very relevant to the plot. The other has a very flat performance that did not do the actress much justice. In general the performances from the women, did not feel as if they were given much opportunity to be relevant. This made the movie feel like it was still a little behind its time.
- Not sure if they need a sequel – It seems like they either need to let Jason Bourne rest or put him back to work in the CIA. Either way, we cannot realistically expect him to keep engaging in this abusive relationship with black ops in the US.
Definitely not the movie of the summer. However consider this the backup plan, if Star Trek Beyond, and Ghostbusters are sold out. Leave your kids at home, there is a lot of senseless murder in this film. 2.5 of 5 stars.