Jason Bourne, the fifth in the series of theatrical films based on author Robert Ludlum’s character of the same name (not counting TV movie adaptations) does get one thing right. In case you’ve been living under a rock for the last six months, you’re probably aware that the star and director of the majority of the films in the franchise, Matt Damon and Paul Greengrass, have returned to the fold. That’s the good news. Unfortunately, Greengrass and his creative co-conspirators have given us a film that’s probably the weakest of the crop of Bourne films in which Damon has been the star. That, unfortunately, is the bad news.
Jason Bourne is, at the very least, better than its predecessor, The Bourne Legacy, a film whose creative talent made the disastrous decision to try and send the series in a different direction with a different leading man (Jeremy Renner). It didn’t work, was easily the weakest in the series and was instantly forgettable at best. Jason Bourne ranks just above that last entry in terms of quality. It’s a largely forgettable yarn with extended chase scenes and lots of action-related havoc and destruction but not much resonance when all is said and done. To say it’s all sound and fury would be an understatement.
The central element of the plot here is a thumb drive containing sensitive information that could prove detrimental to certain people in positions of power.
In this case said person of power is the head of the CIA, a role filled this time around by Tommy Lee Jones (looking more craggy faced than usual). Jones’ character makes it his mission to get back that blasted thumb drive before it can do some serious damage. Of course he has a government department to run and can’t be bothered with such trivial matters so he enlists an assassin (Vincent Cassel) to do the job for him. Said assassin, of course, leaves a trail of bodies and destruction on his trail with Bourne’s character at the center of it all. There’s also a subplot wherein Bourne regains just enough of his memory—it was wiped clear in the first entry and comes back in fits and starts—to figure out who he really is and what happened to his father.
The final section of the movie takes place in Vegas and contains an extended car chase involving Bourne and his assassin that’s well done but just not enough to overcome the fact that the film is a one trick pony. Jason Bourne may have returned with Damon in the role but let’s hope he has a better story to accompany him if by chance he returns to movie screens in the future. (Also featuring Alicia Vikander and Julia Stiles.)
Photo: Matt Damon is back in Jason Bourne
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