Before I talk about the newest Bourne film, let me just say what I think of the Bourne films so far. I'm a big fan of them. If someone were to come up to me and ask for a good recommendation of action movies, the Bourne trilogy would easily be a quick recommendation. From fun clever stories, to tense music, to some of the coolest fistfight scenes and car chases I can think of, the original Bourne Trilogy is a true example of an action quintessential. And unlike other trilogies, the movies only get better as the films go on. The only downside is that the story can be a little bit hard to follow at times, and I've heard people say that they don't like the fast action camerawork. Me? I don't care about that aspect too much, it adds a certain charm to the film, and as I'll explain shortly, it feels rather dull without it. The original trilogy is a fantastic action series. And though the fourth film "The Bourne Legacy" kinda fell flat, and didn't live up to the standards the original trilogy set, even it is an enjoyable film which has its moments. The main problem with The Bourne Legacy was the fact that its cast didn't have the charm to live up to the standards of the other films, and without the signature camerawork, a lot of the action fell flat to me. But all the same, it's still a fun story. I very much wanted to do a Bourne Movie Marathon prior to this, but just never found the time. But I'll probably review these movies in the near future.
Hearing that they were bringing back the actual Jason Bourne for this film, who is portrayed by fan favorite Matt Damon, and that Tommy Lee Jones for this film? You can bet I got excited. The films aren't the same without Jason Bourne, and the fourth film proves that. I mean they constantly mention him in that film, and we never see him once. Not even in the reused Ultimatum shots. And Tommy Lee Jones? Love the guy. This is a guy who is perfect for his role, he's played several agents before, and him in a Bourne movie is a match made in Heaven. So I had some high expectations for this film. Did they get met? You know, I'm pleasantly surprised because though this film isn't perfect, it did manage to keep my attention and impress me.
I guess the biggest thing I should say is that for those of you who are familiar with the Bourne films, this film is incredibly predictable. But if you walk into this theater, knowing what you're going to get, you'll probably have the fun you're looking for. And it does need to be said that there were a few times that I legitly did not know what was going to happen in the story. I didn't know the motivations or decisions certain characters might make. But in following the classic Jason Bourne formula, there are several instances where you will call a certain shot, and it will go exactly as you think it'll go. But damn it if it's still not entertaining.
As I expected, the action in this movie is as awesome as ever, and the camerawork is back, giving it that second life. I will say that some of the action honestly feels a bit too over the top, for example, Bourne literally has a dumbell thrown at his face, and he kinda shakes it off, but the quick fistfights, the fast intense car chases, and the tense atmosphere that is indeed created alongside that incredible music is still fun to sit through. There are times the action is so big that you might actually feel it. The punches can take you by surprise at times, and the final blows, whether they're by a fist or some sort of improvised weapon will have the hardcore fans cheering silently in their seat every time. It needs to be said that there is no tame action here. You're going to get what you pay for. In fact, I will say I likely would not see this in 3D, it's that fast.
Another thing that this film has going for it is the cast. Matt Damon, Tommy Lee Jones, Alicia Vikander, Vincent Cassel, they all portray their characters brilliantly. Not one performance felt phoned in. As much as I love these films, there will be times where I feel the film's antagonists could have been portrayed better. Tommy Lee Jones, despite his old age, fits perfectly in this film. You can tell his character is always thinking, always brainstorming, and he might just be the smartest antagonist that the films have ever had. And Matt Damon, he's Jason Bourne. It's his signature role, and he just easily convinces you that he's still got it in him.
With all this good, I'm surprised that I found certain things as underwhelming as they were. One thing I found disappointing was that not once do they reference any events of the previous film. I understand that The Bourne Legacy isn't exactly a fan favorite, but the end of that film does have some crucial information to the plot of the franchise that isn't once hinted at here. There is no progress on the exposure of Blackbriar or if Pamela Landy is indeed being accused of treason. I mean sure they constantly say how Bourne exposed Blackbriar, but the focus on this is mainly Jason Bourne's father, and the new big program that the CIA are trying to launch through this social media thing. I must say that some of the plot ideas in this story are really well done, and there will be times where you will be pleasantly surprised, but I just feel that as far as progressing the story foward, this movie could have done a better job. Especially since we have Matt Damon back in the lead role here.
But aside from that I think for the most part, this movie is loads of fun, and if you're a diehard fan like me, you won't mind the common formula you'll notice for these movies. You'll have your flashbacks, you'll have your constant disarming of guards, you'll have your confrontation with the big mind of it all, you'll have your car chase and final action, and you'll have that final scene where Bourne walks away from it all, as the credits begin to roll, and that awesome song "Extreme Ways" by Moby begins to play (I'm not joking, that credit song is one of the coolest movie songs I know). It's all here. Is it as good as other movies in the trilogy? Well it's better than Legacy, and Identity, and I'm not sure whether or not I wanna rank it above Supremacy or not, but I can say that Ultimatum remains the best movie of the series. But for a movie to bring back Bourne, this movie succeeds in more ways than one.
Jason Bourne just barely earns a three and a half star rating out of four. It's flawed, predictable, but it still knows how to keep you entertained and interested, and the story is surprisingly easy to follow here. With all this said and done, what do I see in the future for Bourne? The potential for another sequel is there, but the ending of this movie may be one open to interpretation. There is some unused potential that might be really cool to explore, but I think Bourne should take a few years off here before we get any definite answers. I'm hoping that should they continue these films, we get another big essential series. But for now, I'll live with just a fun action film. Jason Bourne still shows that it knows how to pull off the action, and it'll probably continue to be the one film other action films try to be. I wouldn't have it any other way.
Feel free to request any movie you'd like me to review. Leave a comment down below explaining what you thought of the film for yourself, and as always, thanks for reading.
Final Verdict: 3.5/4