Man it’s good to be back! Another “Bourne” movie is here, and Juicy Popcorn is letting me review it. This is always fun, so thanks for the invitation Juicy Reviewer, you’re a righteous dude.
The fifth installment in the “Bourne” series has arrived. “Jason Bourne” is the continuing saga of the former CIA agent who’s now on the run. After a nine year hiatus Matt Damon reprises the role that made him an action movie star. Also returning is director and co-writer Paul Greengrass, bringing along his signature frenetic style. This franchise seems to be on life support, so it’ll be a tall order for Greengrass to breathe new life into this movie.
MOVIE REVIEW: Rogue agent Jason Bourne is back and he’s angry. Now deftly outwitting sinister government agents while in pursuit of a nefarious black-ops leader…. wait, haven’t they made this movie before, like four times? Honestly, this movie is such a lazy retread of all the prior “Bourne” incarnations that the plots are almost interchangeable. As action movies go “Jason Bourne” is basic boilerplate stuff; in essence it’s just another catch me if you can story with all the “Bourne” standards- globetrotting, car chases, fist fights, fast cuts, thin dialogue, and the ever present “quiver-cam”. I believe these ingredients may have worked in the earlier projects because they were somewhat fresh then, but now these trappings are so commonplace, even on TV, that they feel really tired and dated. I will say that this movie offers a nice cast, Tommy Lee Jones is a welcome addition, but his character is wasted and sadly reduced to the stereotypical government bad guy lurking in the shadows. Matt Damon, as usual, is very good as a somber and much older Jason Bourne. Agent Heather Lee, played by Alicia Vikander, is also noteworthy as a young headstrong agent who believes she’s the one that can bring Bourne in. It’s so frustrating that the dialogue is so thin here (as with all “Bourne” movies), because some deeper interaction between the actors would have been nice to see. I did enjoy the opening scenes, where we get to peek into Bourne’s difficult private life as a bare knuckle brawler eeking out a miserable existence in Greece. But quickly the story slipped into such predictability that the ending became glaringly obvious very early on.
What’s worse is a convoluted sub-plot that feels forced, lasts too long, and concludes with a whimper. There are tons of silly government shenanigans to see, and the “Big Brother” on steroids federal surveillance network has become such a worn out plot device, that it quickly becomes repetitive. Kudos go to the stunt work though, it’s simply amazing, along with a heart pounding armored car chase through the streets of Las Vegas. When it comes to the heart of the story there’s not much to talk about; really, it’s just lots of running around looking for the next action scene. In the finale there’s an interesting scene between Bourne and Lee that should have lasted a little longer, and strongly hints at another sequel, Heaven forbid. Since Bourne has recovered his memories I’m at a loss at what he’s fighting for anymore, and after “Jason Bourne”, I’ve lost interest. Scoring this flick is a little tricky, “The Bourne Legacy” is regarded as the worst movie in the series, but at least they tried something different, that is why I’m scoring “Jason Bourne” even lower. Lack of originality must be punished, Greengrass and company could have shifted gears here and did something new with poor Jason Bourne, instead of giving us this uninspired rehashing. I’m sure hardcore fans of the “Bourne” franchise may be able to glean a certain level of enjoyment from this movie, but for everyone else skip it, there’s nothing new to see here. FINAL SCORE: 69%= Burnt Popcorn
Here’s the trailer:
Matt Damon- Jason Bourne
Julia Stiles- Nicky Parsons
Alica Vikander- Heather Lee
Tommy Lee Jones- CIA Director Robert Dewey