Review by Mark Salcido
It’s been about 11 years since we’ve had JASON BOURNE grace our movie screens with enough espionage and action to give any fan of the spy genre a big o’stiffy. The studios tried out Jeremy Renner to continue the franchise and we all know how that turned out. Now Paul Greengrass and Matt Damon have returned to the action fold that made them both household names in hopes to bring the legacy of Jason Bourne back to the glory days it once was.
Was it worth it? Let’s talk about that.
As the film opens we discover Bourne back in hiding and trying to find meaning in his life. He’s getting up there in years and looks worn down after the events of the ‘Ultimatum’. He may be done with that mess, but it’s not done with him. The film introduces the current topic of world-wide mass surveillance. Think Snowden, folks. This is not much a spoiler and not much of a plot. It gets quickly left behind as the film focuses more on Bourne and his father issues. It’s a nice personal touch to the character but felt somwhat forced as there was no hint of it in the previous films.
Within the first 20 minutes, of “Jason Bourne” you see where the surveillance plot is going and will probably guess where it will end up. 10 minutes after that, you already know who the villains are to the point where you wonder if the writers even tried to put any mystery behind it. I will have to add, there is a death in the film that I didn’t seem coming but it had me question if it was even necessary. It follows the same kind of path that was in the ‘Identity’, ‘Supremacy’, and ‘Ultimatum’ but it doesn’t add anything new to the franchise. But hey, I guess if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.
The acting in “Jason Bourne” is what you expect from the stellar cast and Matt Damon still manages to bring some of the emotional level that was also evident in ‘Supremacy’.
The new players like Tommy Leee Jones and Alicia Vikander do a serviceable job though Vikander’s character feels like she was trying too hard be a tough CIA Agent. Her face reveals a look that feels soulless, even when she goes for that connection with Jason Bourne, like Joan Allen’s character did in the last films.
The action of the film is it’s only saving grace. Greengrass hasn’t lost a step when it comes to really good action scenes that feel genuine and with little CGI effect. The first action sequence reminds us how bad ass Bourne is and continues to escalate as the film goes on, but not to a ridiculous level. Yet, Greengrass can’t seem to stop it with the shaky cam. It’s not to a nauseating degree, as he’s done in some of his previous film but it can be bothersome. You hope at some point the director will put the camera on sticks show us the awesome coordination of the fighting.
The final car scene shot in Las Vegas is spectacular and leaves you with a visceral rush that makes the 2 hour experience ultimately worthwhile.
I love the Bourne films…except ‘Legacy’. I can watch the first three all day on repeat because they had a level of mystery and action that mixed well. When I heard that Damon and Greengrass were coming back for another installment, I was all in. After watching ‘Jason Bourne’ I’m not so sure they should continue. By the end,”Jason Bourne” had enough set ups to warrant a few more sequels, but this installment doesn’t leave you wanting more.
With the dismantling of Treadstone and Black-Briar,‘ Ultimatum’ ended in a way that could’ve seen Jason ride off into the sunset to live happily ever after. But with the inclusion of a new operation known as Iron Hand, you kind have to wonder, is there even a purpose in what Bourne is doing? Or is the franchise being kept alive for the big score that this movie will surely reap with this current wide release.