‘Jason Bourne’ Review

Directed by Paul Greengrass

Written by Paul Greengrass and Christopher Rouse

Starring: Matt Damon, Tommy Lee Jones, Alicia Vikander, Vincent Cassel, Julia Stiles and Riz Ahmed

★☆☆

“Jason Bourne” is the fifth film in the Bourne series, the fourth to star Matt Damon as the titular character, its immediate predecessor “The Bourne Legacy” is essentially the “Never Say Never Again” of the Bourne series. In “The Bourne Legacy” Jeremy Renner did not even play Jason Bourne, while “Never Say Never Again” literally was a remake of “Thunderball,” but at least that movie starred Sean Connery as James Bond.

“Jason Bourne” contains everything that you would expect from not only a “Bourne” movie but everything you would expect from a Paul Greengrass-directed “Bourne” movie. The action scenes were fantastic; they were well directed, well edited and well executed. The chase scenes were great, the fighting scenes were great, they were classic “Bourne.” Although, Greengrass’ direction is the only thing about the movie that is worth noting. “Jason Bourne” puts the “Bourne” franchise in the same place where the “Bond” series ends up every decade where it needs an adrenaline shot to the heart to sustain franchise longevity. When the “Bond” series ends up in this place the make a movie that is akin to “From Russia with Love,” a movie that is rooted in the traditional tropes of an espionage thriller, and less with the gadgets and car chases. The “Bourne” franchise finds itself in a different place than “Bond” does because there is only one way – save for removing the titular character – to make a “Bourne” movie.

“Jason Bourne” is a movie that does not go anywhere. The film’s three acts are the same, they all follow the same beats through each of the three acts. The narrative is paper thin; there is some great stuff under the surface about cyber security, privacy, and terrorism that was just kind of there with no further development. The most you get is an Edward Snowden name drop. The cyber security thing should have been what propelled the narrative of the movie forward; it should have been the primary focus of the movie. What you get instead is a standard “Bourne” movie about him uncovering the various of what had happened to him, they should be done with that at this point in the story, but no they keep beating that dead horse.

I believe that the smart move for the “Bourne” franchise to go the route of the “Bond” series and find a permanent replacement for Matt Damon as Bourne, to give the franchise the kick it needs. At this point, Bonding Bourne is the only way to save the series and keep it going. If they lose Greengrass, then I do not think that Damon will stick around for long because he dropped out of “The Bourne Legacy” when Greengrass left that film.

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