MOVIE THEATER REVIEW: “Jason Bourne” stars Matt Damon (The Martian, Good Will Hunting), Tommy Lee Jones (Men in Black, No Country for Old Men), Alicia Vikander (Ex Machina, The Danish Girl), Vincent Cassel (Black Swan, Shrek), Julia Stiles (10 Things I Hate About You, Silver Linings Playbook), Riz Ahmed (Nightcrawler, Four Lions), Ato Essandoh (Django Unchained, Blood Diamond), and Scott Shephard (Bridge of Spies, Side Effects). It is directed by Paul Greengrass (Captain Phillips, United 93), who also wrote it with Christopher Rouse. Jason Bourne (Damon) comes out of hiding when he discovers more information about his past involving the CIA’s project of Treadstone.
After reviewing the whole “Bourne” franchise last year (can’t believe it’s been this long) with my good pal Captain Critic, we decided to delve back into the story centered on the assassin with a scattered memory of himself. I knew what the critics and fans alike had to said about it, but this was more a matter of completing my set of reviews for Jason Bourne’s tale than whether it would actually be worth my time. Sitting down to see this, I could definitely tell that Damon and the crew had no trouble getting back into the groove of things. Besides some wear on Damon (it’s been ten years), everything felt like his character never left in the first place. To be honest, nothing about this movie seemed different. Same threat, same Bourne, same attempt to remember the past. Yes, the other “Bourne” films were on this same parallel, but what made those releases so good was how they tiptoed across an overarching story. “The Bourne Ultimatum” had a satisfying enough ending where, although not all loose ends were tied up, enough was concluded to make me happy. Jason Bourne came to realize who he really was and what he signed up for; answers we have been wanting to know throughout the trilogy. Now that we know, what’s next? Apparently, Universal saw that Bourne had some unfinished business to attend to. I admit that the new information he acquires in this release is intriguing, but much of it could have been fulfilled in an hour time slot. While the first three “Bourne” films focused on the titular character, this new installment has a bunch of elements mixing in the same pot. There’s Jason Bourne coming out of hiding, the mystery he is trying to solve, a conspiracy behind the government, a new female lead who is hard to figure out, and a brand new app that could link to more governmental surveillance of people’s lives. Some of it is balanced nicely, while in most cases you can tell that the writers can’t find their footing. Action sequences, while awesome, can feel out-of-place and new information can feel underwhelming as there is a quite a bit of flimsy material to keep track of. Not to say that this flick isn’t entertaining. While it doesn’t offer nearly the amount of thrills the original three bestowed, it did have its moments. I loved the final fight scene between Bourne and the asset as well as his confrontation with Tommy Lee Jones’ character. Like I stated before, this new insight on Bourne’s past is interesting, so when I get a nugget of it, it’s typically good. The problem is, there’s not much gold here to dig up. I was bombarded with a ton of dialogue that didn’t have much to do with what was about Jason Bourne, but rather the government trying to cut ties with anything that dealt with previous projects or hacks. Usually, this stuff would go hand-in-hand, but in this case it wasn’t that balanced. Really all my issues lie in this film’s story. Outside of that, there are good pros to be said. The acting was great all around, with some solid performances by newcomers Tommy Lee Jones and Alicia Vikander. They played the typical government employees trying to hunt down Bourne and cover up secrets, but they were enjoyable to watch nonetheless. Damon was a man of little words, but what would you expect with Jason Bourne? He was all about expressions anyway. Again, the action sequences were cool to see. Most of them didn’t do much for me in the first half, but the further it progressed, the more I was invested. The directing, of course, was shaky. A lot of fast, sharp cuts, but I think that Greengrass did just as good as he did in the previous Bourne movies he directed. All in all, this release didn’t really need to be made. The information that was brought to life was interesting, but it didn’t hold enough weight to really shake the playing field. The big reveal brought about some great dialogue, but it was predictable and simple at best. It was nice to see Damon return, however, as I did find joy in a few places throughout this film. It is far better than “The Bourne Legacy” in regards to it having a better plot, but it doesn’t even come close to how great the original trilogy was. If you are a die-hard Bourne fan, then see it. If you are a casual action lover, I’d pass on this one. FINAL SCORE: 72%= Burnt Popcorn
Here is the trailer: