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Jason Bourne

Jason Bourne: Stale Revisit of a Once Excellent Action Franchise

  • Alicia VikanderMatt Damon...
  • Action & AdventureThriller
  • Paul Greengrass
reviewed by
Marija Loncarevic
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Jason Bourne: Stale Revisit of a Once Excellent Action Franchise

Matt Damon’s long-awaited return to the big screen as a highly-skilled, ex-government assassin on-the-run has finally come to realisation in Paul Greengrass’ fourth instalment in the spy-action franchise, Jason Bourne. Written by Greengrass himself – co-writing credits go out to Christopher Rouse – this latest addition to the popular film-series turns out to be a seemingly functional one but a generally unexciting chapter in the Jason Bourne storyline, which fails to take the character in new directions.

Having spent over a decade living under the radar, Jason Bourne (Damon) – who is still seemingly haunted by his past – is soon approached by his former handler, Nicky Parsons (Stiles), who informs the ex-assassin about recently declassified information linking his late father to the infamous Treadstone program. Still looking to fill in the holes of his past, Bourne sets out to find out more about the connection and to see whether this newly-found information can help him shed some light on his past.

In the meantime, CIA director Robert Dewey (Jones playing his usual unlikable self) has learned that Bourne has come out of hiding and is somehow connected to a CIA breach that ended up leaking information about Treadstone and another program named ‘Iron Hand’. Bringing in the help of an ambitious and a talented CIA coder, Heather Lee (Vikander), into the equation, Dewey also enlists an assassin – only referred to as The Asset (Cassel) – to find and kill Bourne.  However, Lee soon realises that there is more to the story than it meets the eye.

It’s been nine years since the release of The Bourne Ultimatum – the supposedly last chapter in the Jason Bourne saga featuring the strongest epilogues of the entire franchise – and after the relatively awkward The Bourne Legacy spin-off the franchise returns to the titular character. Unfortunately, though, the result is disappointing and most of all, thoroughly unrewarding as the laboured and sluggish story continues to explore and repeat plot points we’ve all seen before. From secret government programs, to relentless assassins sent out for the kill, Jason Bourne offers nothing new, once again painting its title character as both a damaged man with a troubling past and a highly-skilled operative who is working hard to stay one step ahead from the people behind the scenes.

Nonetheless, Damon is effective as the now much-older version of Jason Bourne who is still capable of throwing a mean punch whilst the rest of the cast all look bored and completely uninterested in the material given. The action is decent – Greengrass’ shaky-cam returns – and the obligatory car-chase sequence – in Las Vegas this time – definitely has its thrills.  However, there is nothing new or fresh for the audiences to bite into and absolutely nothing creative or exciting to make this nine-year-long-wait worth the trouble.  

Like This? Try

Bourne Identity (2002), Bourne Supremacy (2004), Bourne Ultimatum (2007)

360 Tip

The Las Vegas car chase sequence took five weeks to shoot and wrecked 170 cars

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