RELEASED 2016 RUNTIME 123 MIN LANGUAGE ENGLISH DIRECTION PAUL GREENGRASS SCREENPLAY PAUL GREENGRASS, CHRISTOPHER ROUSE STARRING MATT DAMON, TOMMY LEE JONES, ALICIA VIKANDER, VINCENT CASSEL, JULIA STILES, RIZ AHMED MUSIC JOHN POWELL, DAVID BUCKLEY
Jason Bourne is the 5th installment in the Bourne franchise and the 4th movie starring Matt Damon as Jason Bourne.
After uncovering the secrets about project Tretstone and Blackbrire, Jason Bourne has vanished to live a life off the grid. But a former Tretstone internal has uncovered a disturbing secret about Bourne’s past and triggered him to come back from hiding in order to string together the remaining pieces of his past.
I love the first 3 Bourne movies. I think they are one of the best trilogies ever made. Needless to say I was excited for this one, even though I couldn’t imagine where they would take the story next. The third film concluded the series in a perfect way.
So while I had a good time with the new movie, it also feels a little unnecessary and obsolete. The main problem is that the story feels very familiar. It doesn’t really bring anything new to the table and feels like a paint by numbers Bourne movie. Bourne is being confronted with disturbing details about his past and now goes after the people responsible for it. When did we see that the last time? Right, pretty much in every other Bourne film. Where is the problem with that, if every other Bourne film feels the same? Why just know do I feel like criticizing it?
The thing is, the first 3 films feel like a natural progression. The first time, Bourne just tried to figure out his past. The second time he is being framed and therefore has to go after the people who want to bring him down. The third time he wants to finally end it all once and for all and goes on a revenge path in order to close this chapter of his life. It’s a 3 act story. As with most 4th films in a franchise, they struggle to find their place in the story. Same with Jason Bourne.
That’s not to say I had fun with the film. Since it bring back the production team behind the first 3 films (minus Doug Liman, who made the first film), it feels like a Bourne film. He action is fantastic, The shaky cam is, well, shaky as always and the actors are familiar.
Matt Damon as Jason Bourne is great, even though he only has like 10 speaking lines in the movie. He looks a little more grizzled and buffed, but that is due to the story, which of course takes place 8 years after the events of Ultimatum (I’m leaving Bourne Legacy out on purpose, since it’s a spin off without Matt Damon).
Julia Stiles is back as Nicky Parsons who also looks a little more grizzled. Also her role is noticeably more physical than before, which I enjoyed.
But really, it’s all about the new additions. Tommy Lee Jones as the head of the CIA task force to hunt down Bourne is really good. This man has such a presence. The role just fits him like a glove.
Alicia Vikander as his assistant is really great. She is tough and knows how to get stuff accomplished. It’s great to see her in such a strong role.
And then there is my buddy, Vincent Cassel as an agent who has a feud with Jason Bourne. I was seriously waiting for the moment when Vincent Cassel becomes a part of the franchise. This man is Bourne to play an assassin! And of course he does a perfect job with it!
But let’s talk about the action because the action is insanely well done. The beginning chase sequence that takes you through downtown Athens while a demonstrating mob has a chaotic fight with the police force is done so well and feels so creative, I was smiling from ear to ear. I couldn’t have thought of a better European backdrop for a chase. It’s all in here. Foot chase, car chase, motorcycles, sniper action, stealth sequences. It’s just great!
Another stand out action sequence takes place in Las Vegas. You have seen it in the trailer. But my god, shit is being wrecked in the middle of the strip. It’s awesome. Plus, the finale in the parking garage is so visceral, Paul Greengrass (director) may have done his best job yet, when it comes to the action.
One big criticism I have to give the film is the subplot in the movie which really feels unnecessary. It stars Riz Ahmed (who is a great actor) as a Silicon Valley entrepreneur who is involved with the CIA. Really, this entire section which keeps popping in every now and then, is very distracting. It doesn’t further the story in any meaningful way, especially because it is not linked to Jason Bourne whatsoever. The movie is called Jason Bourne for gods sake! Some of it even feels jarring because it mentions Edward Snowden who is not even a subject inside the story. Just take out the subplot and nothing about the main plot will change.
So yeah, as I said. If you love the Bourne franchise, you will have a good time with the film. But don’t expect to be blown away because you have all seen it before. There is nothing new that really furthers the story and changes things. You could say it’s an epilogue to the already great trilogy of Bourne films. Also, a little bit more focus with the plot would have helped the movie.
Btw. If you are new to the franchise, you should check out the first three films before watching this because you may get lost in the details.