Jason Bourne’s retirement has been downright terrible. All he tried to do was leave Black Ops and ended up forgetting his identity. Since then, he dealt with a supremacy and ultimatum. Don’t worry, not even he knows what those mean in relation to him. Once he was able to go completely off the radar, he still left a legacy behind with a similar looking former spy. Now, the FBI has found him again and their only mission is to catch Jason Bourne.
Matt Damon returns once again to the franchise that made him bankable. In Jason Bourne, the titular character temporarily comes out of hiding to find out every secret buried deep in the Treadstone Project. Along the way, he is chased and attacked at every turn by government agents and an asset (Vincent Cassel) who shares a history with Bourne.
Every Bourne movie needs an alpha CIA watchdog to bark orders and retrieve Bourne. This time around, that responsibility lies on the shoulders of CIA Director Dewey (Tommy Lee Jones). He is fed information by CIA prodigy, Agent Heather Lee (Alicia Vikander). If you’ve seen a Bourne flick, you know the cat and mouse game that ensues.
It’s common knowledge that the Bourne series doesn’t offer much new, in terms of story. The first movie set up the backstory that proceeded to stretch out over a franchise. Even with my past gripes story-wise, I came to realize that it wasn’t the story that made people fall in love with the series. It’s the action and the motivations of the character. The Bourne movies offer tight, close-quarter combat that borders on schizophrenic. Then again, it’s blink-and-you’ll-miss-it action that automatically brings intensity.
Jason Bourne (the movie) is no different. At any given point, there is so much going on. The perspective switches from Bourne to operatives chasing him to agents tracking his movements in a control room, repeated constantly.
Bourne, himself, seems to be more wraith-like in this movie. He doesn’t have many lines, nor character development.
I appreciate the grounded take of the movies as far as espionage goes. The threat doesn’t come down to a villainous mastermind that wants to nuke the world, ala Bond or Mission: Impossible. Instead, it stays relevant and explores the moral grey area of privacy vs protection. This movie does not follow the general clichés of spy movies. However, it does follow the clichés of the franchise it created.
If it’s not clear by now, just know that Jason Bourne follows the Mad Libs plot of the original trilogy (no, not Star Wars). There is no crucial reveal this time around. However, if you’re a die hard fan of the series, even reading this will not dampen your excitement. Nor should it. You’ve been patient with the lack of originality so far. Why change your outlook now?
Outside of the tired Treadstone revisit, there is a lot of fun to be had. The introductory chase brings you right back to the quick cut action of the previous installments. It’s comfort food, but has some shocking moments. The soundtrack attempts to make you anxious throughout the movie, even through the dull middle act. Yet, once the events bring the characters to Las Vegas, just know that you’re in for a ride (which is just as literal as it is metaphorical). The action surpasses anything seen before in the franchise. It felt as if director Paul Greengrass mastered what he has been trying to create all along.
As the credits rolled, I turned to my step-dad (my guest at the screening and a huge fan of the franchise) and asked what he thought. He responded by saying, “It’s another Bourne movie.” While, I may not share the same excited tone, there couldn’t be a truer review than saying it’s another Bourne movie. B-