Film Review – Jason Bourne (2016)


Title: Jason Bourne (2016)
Director: Paul Greengrass (Captain Phillips)
Cast: Matt Damon, Alicia Vikander, Tommy Lee Jones, Vincent Cassel, Riz Ahmed, Julia Stiles
Plot: After discovering who he was, Jason Bourne (Damon) finds himself back in a dangerous game between him and the CIA as he once more fights to unearth more secrets about his past and stop those that made him the killing machine that lays dormant within.

“Remembering everything doesn’t mean you know everything”

Review by Eddie on 01/08/2016

After years on the sidelines, everyone’s favourite forgetful and resourceful one man army Jason Bourne is back and while in many ways returning director Paul Greengrass’s film is just as competent and pulsating as what has come before, Jason Bourne lacks the magic that made the original trilogy such a game changer and a first pick for those wanting their action thrills fast, frenetic and undeniably fun.

To come back to a franchise after such a long hiatus is always as interesting proposition when consideration is made as to what was the driving force behind coming back for more when the story had seemingly been tied up and that is Jason Bourne’s most glaring issue, the film just doesn’t bring anything new to the table when what has been delivered before is still fresh in our collective memories and the mystery and intrigue that helped hook audiences previously is largely amiss here in a fairly cookie cutter story that takes far to long to get properly going.

Greengrass and Christopher Rouse’s story deserves little examining but rest assured it sees a battle wearied Bourne recalling once more memories of old after an old friend discovers more information about his history and from there Bourne almost gets relegated to a supporting role as Tommy Lee Jone’s grizzled CIA man Robert Dewey and Alicia Vikander’s computer wiz turned field operative Heather Lee get a majority of the films lead up before an action packed final stanza takes centre stage. It’s curious that a film sold off the back of Jason Bourne’s very name is so willing to have its star player say a handful of words and get a few big action plays and it suffers sometimes through it with a Snowden like side plot, although Vikander’s Lee is easily the series finest new addition since its inception in 2002.

As you can see, there’s a significant portion of Jason Bourne that falls flat and pales in comparison to what has been served up before but a filmmaker of the talent of Greengrass’s and with Damon once more returning to the character the redefined his career, Jason Bourne is still in many ways good dumb fun with a near breathless pacing, intensely designed and constructed action and played by a competent cast, it’s still a sight bit better than most of its fellow genre entrants.

Unlikely to be remembered in the same regards as Damon’s early adventures but far from a series write off (hello Bourne Legacy), Jason Bourne does enough to suggest this initially surprising return to a beloved series has more life to live yet, but as this film often showcases it won’t be a walk in the park especially if Bourne himself continues to get a somewhat short shift.

3 1/2 chair legs out of 5

13 responses to “Film Review – Jason Bourne (2016)

  1. Nice review Eddie. I find this entertaining enough, but also funny that Greengrass went on record before saying that he would not return to the franchise because of a redundant plot, only to write a redundant plot in his return.

  2. Good review…Eddie. I think your score is the “general” consensus for this movie (3.5 out 5 or 7.5 out 10). Despite having a repetitive plot beats / narrative from past installments, the movie was still entertaining and Matt Damon is still great as Jason Bourne.

  3. Still looking forward to seeing this one! Great review, and glad to see that it was alright, not Legacy, but not fantastic. Seems solid enough though.

  4. I agree it was workaday and unimaginative, but I love the franchise, so it was fine by me, if not exactly something I’d go out and tell people they had to see. Maybe some of the locations weren’t as memorably filmed as in earlier films? It’s interesting how easily the ingredients (off grid living, corruption at the top, chases over exotic locations) that were so thrilling earlier can become tired.

  5. I am going tot see that one Wednesday Thanks for the heads up I am looking forward to it. Nice review.

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