Possible spoilers ahead!
“Jason Bourne” is set in the present-day, where Bourne (Matt Damon) has lived over a decade off the grid, but he is still haunted by the memories of his time-serving as a U.S. government assassin.
I wouldn’t say Bourne is living a happy life, but at least things are quiet for the most part with the exception of a few underground fight clubs. Things change for the super agent when his former handler Nicky Parsons (Julia Stiles) approaches him with previously classified information that confirms a connection between his late father and the Treadstone program. And so, Bourne sets out to determine whether this new information can shed light on parts of his own past that he does not yet fully understand.
Meanwhile in the States, the CIA and its Director Robert Dewey (Tommy Lee Jones) learn that Bourne has emerged from the shadows and is connected to a CIA breach that leaked the vital information about Treadstone as well as a mysterious new program dubbed “Iron Hand.”
Reluctantly, Dewey agrees to allow up and coming cyber-specialist Heather Lee (Alicia Vikander) to lead the operation to stop Bourne from the CIA headquarters situation room – with assistance from an “Asset” (Vincent Cassel) who is on the field after Bourne. However, as the mission progresses, Heather realizes that there might be a better solution to the CIA’s problems than simply killing Bourne: Bring him back into the CIA.
Although I’m a huge fan of the spy action genre, I’ve never been a huge Bourne fan. I didn’t hate the movies or anything, but there was just so much shaky cam I could take. That being said, I was really looking forward to seeing “Jason Bourne” on the big screen. Why? Probably because I really enjoyed Matt Damon in “The Martian,” and that made me want to give the Bourne series another look.
Anywho, “Jason Bourne” sees Matt Damon return to the role of Bourne for the first time since in 2007, and back with him is his Bourne Supremacy/Ultimatum director Paul Greengrass. And what can I say? Damon and Greengrass deliver an adventure with plenty of action and a few twists. However, the film has one big problem… the plot.
The “Jason Bourne” plot is credited to Greengrass and his frequent editor Christopher Rouse, but they sadly didn’t bring anything new to the table. Tell me if youve heard tis beofre: Bourne can’t remember something so he tracks down the person or persons with the information. There’s also someone in leadership at the CIA who wants Bourne dead at all costs. Luckily for Bourne, another person at the CIA has his back.
Like I mentioned earlier, I’m not a huge Jason Bourne fan, but that plot could be used to describe any of the Bourne movies.
The weak plot-line aside, the action and the acting in “Jason Bourne” is top-notch. The most impressive action sequences in the movie take place in scenic locations like Greece, London, and Las Vegas. And I’m happy to report that the shaky cam was kept to a minimum.
Matt Damon is the anchor of the film, and on his face you can see what the years living off the grid have done to him; not only physically, but also emotionally. Damon does his best acting without saying a word. Like in the “The Martian” when he finally communicates with NASA. In Bourne, Damon shows us the character’s post-traumatic stress and intelligence through facial expressions and mannerisms.
Oscar-winner Tommy Lee Jones as CIA Director Dewey isn’t as well-crafted as his predecessors were. But he still does well with what he’s given and he looked like he wanted to be there and was having fun.
Then there’s recent Oscar-winner Alicia Vikander, who makes an intriguing addition as Heather Lee: a character who serves a similar role in “Jason Bourne” as Joan Allen’s Pam Landy in both Supremacy and Ultimatum. Alicia Vikander was a highlight in the movie. But we never find out Heather’s true agenda. We’re told she’s after Director Dewey, but for what and why, we never find out.
The world has changed a lot since the first Bourne film in 2002, and it would have been nice to update the story. The filmmakers tried to do so by adding Riz Ahmed as Aaron Kalloor, the CEO and founder of Deep Dream, a social media enterprise, but that plotline felt out-of-place with the rest of the movie.
In the end, “Jason Bourne” is a good addition to the Bourne franchise, but it could have been great. However, if you enjoyed the first two Bourne films made by Damon/Greengrass, then you’ll probably love “Jason Bourne.”
“Jason Bourne” final score: 7