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“Jason Bourne” is a film which probably didn’t need to be made. I wouldn’t necessarily say that it’s a terrible movie, and at no point was I exasperated by the experience, but there’s nothing particularly interesting about the story to warrant bringing Bourne (Matt Damon) back to the big screen.

Bourne hit our screens back in 2002 with “The Bourne Identity”, at a time when the James Bond series was faltering badly and the “Mission Impossible” series was too camp to take the world by storm, but now Bourne feels much less fresh and a little out of his depth compared to Ethan Hunt (Tom Cruise) and Bond (Daniel Craig). Whilst Hunt clings onto jet planes and Bond battles baddies in a crashing helicopter, the pinnacle of Bourne’s espionage is slight-of-hand and disappearing the moment he puts on a baseball cap. His spy technique resembles that of a magician more than it does a world renowned secret agent, and if it wasn’t for the fact that he punches like an MMA fighter he’d most likely have been killed one hundred times over by now.


via rogerebert.com

It’s a sad fact, but Bourne belongs to a different and much less exciting era in which espionage wasn’t as sophisticated as it is today and CCTV wasn’t as advanced. He might be a super solider, but nowadays he’d be intercepted easily by any agency worth its salt because he’s alone, lacking in resources, and up against highly funded government agencies with a plethora of technology in their armoury.

Still, as I’ve previously stated I wasn’t exasperated by this movie; at no point did I feel like walking out of the cinema or falling asleep, it’s just that I couldn’t suspend my disbelief in the necessary way to actually enjoy what I was watching. The choreography in the few fight/chase sequences this film has to offer was fine, as were the performances, but this doesn’t stop the film as a whole from feeling extremely hollow.


via thecriticalcritics.com

Bourne is one of Matt Damon’s best characters and the series has seen him perform to the best of his ability, and to his credit that doesn’t really change here. The script gives him very little to do other than look disgruntled and walk with his head down, but he still does his job as well as can be expected. Moreover, Alicia Vikander was a nice addition to the cast, and with a more intriguing story and better writing I think her character could’ve been great. However, decent performances can’t save this movie from mediocrity, because ultimately the writing is lazy and the story feels rehashed and insignificant.

There’s no outstanding reason why an audience should want to see Bourne come out of retirement, so to speak, especially not to find out who killed his father or to watch on as he attempts to stop a corrupt CIA director. At no point in the movie does the quality of the writing give you the chance to become emotionally invested in the story, nor does it provide the necessary excitement to make you forget that the reason behind the action is uninspired, so you can’t ever get into the film.


via bfi.org.uk

It feels as though somebody wanted to bring Bourne back to the big screen but they didn’t know how to do it so they hired a team of writers who were forced to scrape the bottom of the barrel to conjure up a lacklustre reason for the return, rather than somebody having thought of a great new story for Bourne and thus wanting to bring him back for the sake of enriching the series as a whole. This to me is a huge issue, and it’s this kind of scenario that people are referencing when they call “Jason Bourne” a cash-grab.

With all this said, I still think that “Jason Bourne” was an okay popcorn movie. The story is dull and it never pulls you in, but there’s a couple of entertaining car chases and the performances are actually good when you consider the script that the actors are working with. I wouldn’t recommend going to see this film at the cinema because it isn’t worth giving up your evening to watch, but I also wouldn’t immediately turn it off if it came on as I was flicking through channels on my TV. Make of that what you will.