Director: Paul Greengrass
Writers: Paul Greengrass, Christopher Rouse, Robert Ludlam (characters)
Stars: Matt Damon, Alicia Vikander, Tommy Lee Jones
Release Date: Out Now
Review by: Dave Griffiths
I’ll be the first admit that I have never really been a big fan of the Jason Bourne franchise. While other franchises like Fast And The Furious have got bigger and better with each outing Bourne seems to do the same thing each time. The films stick to the tried formula of Bourne comes out in the open, CIA goes after Bourne… chases ensue. Even the inclusion of top line directors like Paul Greengrass (Captain Phillips) couldn’t break the monotony.
Now comes Jason Bourne, the fourth Matt Damon Bourne. Here we find Jason Bourne (Matt Damon – Good Will Hunting) surviving by competing in underground boxing tournaments. Meanwhile, his ally Nicky Parsons (Julia Stiles – Save The Last Dance) hacks into the CIA’s computer system and discovers so more truths about Bourne’s past. The hack alerts CIA Director Robert Dewey (Tommy Lee Jones – Men In Black) and promising young agent Heather Lee (Alicia Vikander – Ex Machina) to Bourne’s location. The pair then send a hitman only known as Asset (Vincent Cassel – Black Swan) to eliminate Bourne while Dewey finds himself in a dilemma after the creator of a social media network, Aaron Kalloor (Riz Ahmed – Nightcrawler) decides to blow the whistle on the CIA using his system to spy on its users.
To Paul Greengrass credit he does fix some of the things that have been an issue with the past Bourne films. There is more of a storyline this time around, thanks to the Kalloor storyline being included and this time we see characters like Heather given a little bit more characterisation. The same can’t be said about Dewey and Asset though that are just walking clichés… and characters we’ve seen in many films over the years. Some other weaknesses still remain as well, while the Las Vegas car chase is pretty good it’s still not a patch on some of the cases we’ve seen in cinematic history while and Greengrass’ annoying style of reducing fast paced action scenes into a blur is certainly present. While the showdown fight between Bourne and Asset is far from a letdown it could have been made a lot better if it was clearer to see what was actually happening.
The clichéd characters don’t really give many of the actors anything amazing to work with and the result is Matt Damon and Tommy Lee Jones just breezing through their roles. The real star here ends up being Vikander who is good in a role when she gets to explore the greyer areas of her character while leaving the audience wondering whether she is one of the good guys or one of the bad guys. More characters like this would certainly make this franchise a lot better.
If you’re already a Bourne fan then you will enjoy Jason Bourne because it is more of the same. While some of the action sequences will blow you away don’t expect a movie that you will remember too long after the final credits have rolled.
Jason Bourne gets 2.5 stars