The Bourne series has boasted not only exhilarating action but innovative storytelling. With all the movies based around espionage agents, the Matt Damon Bourne movies are among the best. It respects the characters and each movie interweaves into the next and all the dots connect between the three. There are no cliches, simply great storytelling and breakneck action.
Jason Bourne should live up to this standard, but it doesn’t. It’s looted with a forgettable plot and has a mismatch blend of elements that made the other movies fun. This formula brings nostalgia but is also the biggest flaw present.
A series that was able to innovate so well succumbs to being just a decent movie with great action. The movie opens on an exciting note so it’s a shame that it dips so much afterwards. Bourne is with Nicky Parsons as they traverse through a riot while being pursued. So many elements are at play and the finale to the opening action sequence had me in slight disbelief.
What the movie turns into soon after is a social media scandal about privacy. Something I loved about the previous Bourne movies is that the focus was on Bourne himself and the program that he was involved in. There is some of that present in Jason Bourne but much of the plot is wasted on the social media privacy.
When the movie focuses on Bourne it excels, unfortunately this is not enough. Tommy Lee Jones plays a forgettable villain but he’s accompanied by Alicia Vikander who does a solid job in her role. Matt Damon is excellent as Bourne as usual. Some were troubled that his lack of dialogue (only around 25 lines for a 2 hour movie is sparse) might inhibit his character.
Thankfully that isn’t the case, as Telltale’s games have shown us that silent is often a valid and smart choice; the script utilizes this for a great effect. Julia Stiles is always welcome in the franchise as Nicky Parsons. Whenever Bourne is on-screen, his presence propels the movie forward. When he isn’t present the movie seems to drag, making Damon a tour-de-force.
Director Paul Greengrass returns as writer and director, who skillfully made Supremacy and Ultimatum. His signature documentary style with numerous quick cuts. This can often make some sequences really incoherent, but doesn’t have a massive effect on the movie. The action is visceral, quick, and I was astounded by one of the chase scenes near the end.
The movie is a good romp throughout, but even near the end when the signature song “Extreme Ways” is implemented, it just wasn’t done as well. Jason Bourne combines some of the best elements of previous entries, it makes for some great memorable action, but drags the film down. From a series that innovated so much, it’s the weakest effort for the Matt Damon Bournes, but is still a good time to be had at the cinema.
Reviewed by Paul Minnich who you can follow on Facebook