Jason Bourne - Review
9 years after The Bourne Ultimatum, Matt Damon is back as Jason Bourne, everyone's favorite forgetful super spy. Unfortunately, this self titled 5th entry into the Bourne series fails to impress on almost every level.
If you've seen a Jason Bourne movie, you've seen them all. Jason Bourne rarely deviates from the tried and true formula of the series, usually involving a car chase, lots of hacking, and Bourne trying to find out who the heck he is. While 2012's The Bourne Legacy was able to shake up the format in a fun way, it appears that idea has been completely thrown out the window. Jason Bourne unwisely spends the first 15 minutes (the most important minutes, in my opinion) following characters that do nothing but stare at computer screens and push simple commands to hack things. Not only did this give me a bad impression of the film before I had even seen it, it also made the reveal of Bourne less exciting. By the end of the movie, Bourne does finally get the closure he needs to justify the film, but the ending certainly suggests a sixth film. Paired with the film's excellent $60 million opening weekend, it is very possible we will see Bourne again.
Matt Damon is the anchor of Jason Bourne, with much of the film resting on his shoulders. The 45 year old actor is thankfully not the problem with the film, but easily the most enjoyable aspect. While Bourne may be a bit older, he can still kick butt, and is easily one of the coolest spys in film and literature. The real problem lies in the supporting cast, which includes Alicia Vikander, (Ex Machina) Tommy Lee Jones, (The Fugitive, No Country for Old Men) and Vincent Cassel (Black Swan, Oceans Twelve). All of these actors and actresses have starred in Academy Award nominated films, yet they turn in completely one-dimensional performances. While Tommy Lee Jones has starred in his fare share of meh movies, and Vincent Cassel is no stranger to being cast in poor films, it is Alicia Vikander who surprised me the most by her bland performance. Coming fresh off her win for best actress in a supporting role for The Danish Girl and the nationwide phenomenon that was Ex Machina, it is shocking to see such a by-the-numbers performance from such a promising actress. While this in no way seals her fate, it certainly won't keep her from being typecast into more of these cookie cutter roles, rather than the creative and ingenious ones she has proven her ability to handle.
Stylistically, Jason Bourne is a mess. While the films have always been loose with their interpretation of how technology works, this latest iteration stretches the limit. In one scene, a group of tech whizzes at the CIA are tracking Bourne using photos, and at one point Alicia Vikander's character says, "Enhance" and the blurry photo suddenly becomes clear, at the push of a button. Not only is this a lazy storytelling shortcut, it's also impossible. I won't explain everything, but all photos have a fixed resolution, meaning that they can't be enhanced any more than when they were taken. In another scene, Vikander's character has located Bourne using a computer in Berlin, and proceeds to hack a cell phone in the same room, apparently giving her access to the computer Bourne is using. I don't think I need to explain how ridicuolous this is, so I'll just say that this would have been busted on Mythbusters.
Jason Bourne is the weakest film in the series, partially because is brings nothing new, and also wastes an incredible supporting cast. This may be an essential movie for some, just don't expect the next Skyfall.
Pros- Matt Damon, A Few Awesome Fights
Cons- Wasted Supporting Cast, Tired Plot, Ludicrous Hacking