The title of this movie is terrible. There, I said it. I mean, just “Jason Bourne”? That’s it? Seriously? Let’s just look over this for a second, shall we? We had The Bourne Identity, The Bourne Supremacy, The Bourne Ultimatum, The Bourne Legacy and now we have Jason Bourne. Yeah, you see what I’m talking about here? This is just like calling the most recent Rambo film, John Rambo, and the sixth Rocky movie, Rocky Balboa.
I understand that it’s only a title but does a person’s name really get you hyped to watch an action flick? Did it get anyone hyped to see John Carter (it was originally titled John Carter Of Mars by the way)? I mean, yeah, all three of those movies were awesome but still. In conclusion, Hollywood, come up with something unique. Stop being lazy. There were about a dozen spinoff Bourne book titles to choose from. You had no excuse here. Now that that is out of the way, I liked this movie.
I am a huge fan of the Bourne series. As someone who has read the books as well, let me say that I view the films as their own thing. If you want faithful book adaptations, stay as far away from the Bourne series as you can. I love the books and I love the movies. Both are fantastic in my opinion. Then The Bourne Legacy came out and pretty much ruined it for me. It’s a shame too because I do like Jeremy Renner. I do wish they could have done something better with him. However, The Bourne Legacy was a massive bore on so many levels that I can best describe it to you as the cinematic version of NyQuil. I am so happy to say that this was not the case with Jason Bourne.
When he is discovered by his old contact Nicky (Julia Stiles), Jason Bourne (Matt Damon) comes out of hiding after several years to uncover more secrets about Treadstone, the organization that made him into a living weapon. That’s pretty much the extent of the plot. It’s a bit predictable and a bit too “been there and done that” at times, but the film never ceases to be entertaining. It still has the brutal action, the cool locations and the powerhouse acting that made The Bourne Trilogy so fun to watch. The action in particular is some of the best in the series. The bike chase in the beginning of the film is perfect. Not Mad Max: Fury Road perfect.
However, action can only carry a film so far. How does everything else fare out? Well, as I said, the acting is still great. Matt Damon is wonderful as Jason Bourne. As far as I’m concerned, Damon solidified himself as an ultimate action badass in The Bourne Supremacy and he only gets better each time he plays the character. Julia Stiles has been playing Nicky since the first film and still does an admirable job as the character. Vincent Cassel as Bourne’s newest unnamed foe is fun. They give him a personal vendetta with Bourne that works to the film’s advantage. Can’t say the same for Tommy Lee Jones, though. He’s one of the main villains of the film and he’s a bit wasted and boring, I’m sorry to say.
But perhaps the best new addition to the series is Alicia Vikander as CIA Agent Heather Lee. Vikander has proven herself time and again to be a great actress and her performance here is no exception. It’s not on the level of Ex Machina or The Man From U.N.C.L.E. but, like Stiles, she has a nice chemistry with Damon that shines as the film enters its climax. The one thing that did bother me was that they set her character up as if there would be some big reveal in the end. We are left to wonder through most of the film why she is so obsessed with Bourne’s case. Needless to say, the reason is so lame that it made me wonder why they even bothered. Didn’t care much for her destination but her journey getting there was a fun one.
Not everything in the film works. The climax is fun and action packed but it lacks the heart and emotional punch that made the original trilogy so great. In fact, much of the film lacks that punch. I cared about Bourne but only because it’s the fourth film and I’m pretty much invested at this point. The story for Bourne is also a mixed bag for the most part. While he does learn more about his past, it doesn’t really reveal anything to us that we’d want to know. Many things in this plot are obviously directed toward the Edward Snowden incident. Damon revealed that himself last year. I just don’t think they did as much as they could have with it. It was a great idea that needed a bit more fleshing out in my opinion.
Overall, Jason Bourne isn’t perfect but it is a step in a nice direction for a continuation. The acting is great for the most part, the pacing is immaculate and the action scenes are well done. Sadly though, the story plays it too safe, often copying what the other films already had covered. Even the new stuff it introduces isn’t that interesting. The climax is fun but the film’s final moments lack any weight and the main villain is a bore. Jason Bourne isn’t as good the first three films. However, it is a massive improvement over The Bourne Legacy and I do recommend it to the fans. Even casual moviegoers might be swayed by it. If they can find something new and interesting to do with the character, I would like for this series to continue on.
It took 9 years and a ton of patience. Regardless of the film’s faults, it’s good to have you back, Jason Bourne.
- Great Action & Choreographed Fights
- Nice Use Of Locations
- Good Performances
- Expertly Paced
- Story Feels Done To Death
- Lackluster Finale
- Lacks The Emotional Punch Of The Past Films
A graduate of Full Sail University with a Bachelors Degree in Creative Writing, Adam is a Writer and Film Critic, looking to make his mark on the world. When he isn’t at the movies, writing for The Nerd Stash, playing Duck Hunt (respect the classics) or delivering pizzas to his neighbors, he is back at school earning his Masters Degree in Film Production.