Studios these days are an unusual bunch. All of them have an intense desire to back very sure things. Similar to finding a good Adam Sandler film after The Waterboy, the business of developing profitable franchises, is difficult. And when the star of a successful one leaves and is replaced, to not so stellar reception, it becomes almost impossible. This makes the return of Matt Damon and Paul Greengrass to the Bourne series, quite a large gamble. A gamble that may have very well paid off.
Following the events in the Bourne Ultimatum, Jason Bourne (Matt Damon) has fully recovered from his amnesia and gone underground. Meanwhile, Nicky Parsons (Julia Stiles) in Iceland, has hacked into the CIA mainframe and discovered further evidence of a new black ops programme initiated after Bourne dismantled Blackbriar, nearly ten years ago.
Tracking them is CIA Director Robert Dewey (Tommy Lee Jones), who sends in Heather Lee (Alicia Vikander), head of the CIA Cyber Division, and a mysterious operative known simply as The Asset (Vincent Cassel), to either bring in Bourne or take him down.
Jason Bourne is a movie that engenders similar feelings to how people view Donald Trumps presidential campaign. You either love it, as a return to what made the franchise so good, or you hate it, for the lack of any new direction. And UNLIKE Donald Trumps presidential campaign, the former seems to be the case.
Although not as polished as The Bourne Ultimatum or as compelling as the first two movies, Jason Bourne still makes a very good attempt at steering the course of the series back in the right direction. With Paul Greengrass returning to the helm, the slower reflective style of The Bourne Legacy, gives way to an energetic and more realistic narrative. The action set pieces alone, although a little long in some parts, still provide a far more satisfying experience than potentially watching Kanye West endorse Taylor Swifts next Grammy nomination.
Furthermore, Matt Damon, looking as if he is auditioning for the next Magic Mike movie, appears quite at home in the role of the tormented intelligence operative. Damon approaches Bourne with an angrier edge than the previous three films, leading to a far more brutal and darker portrayal. It makes you wonder if Damon woke up every morning and slammed his head against a brick wall half a dozen times, to prepare himself psychologically, before stepping on set.
Also, the supporting cast of Cassel and Vikander acquit themselves nicely as well. The only downside is Tommy Lee Jones’ role of the CIA director. Jones walks through the movie portraying his character as an over sedated somnambulist looking for his denture cream. Even the Presidential faces of Mount Rushmore have more emotion than what Jones displays throughout the whole film.
Jason Bourne is definitely a welcome return to the franchise and provides hope for future installments. Although, it could have benefited from an editorial cut of 15 minutes and a more tighter narrative, Jason Bourne is still recommended viewing.
I give Jason Bourne 3.25/5 chillies……just spicy enough.