Director: Paul Greengrass
Writer: Paul Greengrass, Christopher Rouse
Cast: Matt Damon (Jason Bourne), Julia Stiles (Nicky Parsons), Alicia Vikander (Heather Lee), Tommy Lee Jones (Robert Dewey), Riz Ahmed (Aaron Caloor), etc.
Running Time: 123 minutes
After almost nine years, our favorite rogue ex-CIA operative is back in action again, and it feels good to have him back. I feel like we’ve been missing something from our lives ever since The Bourne Ultimatum (2007). In my opinion, the espionage genre is just not as strong without Bourne, so it’s great to have him back. Okay, let me stop blabbering and get to the good stuff, how good was Jason Bourne in comparison to the other Bourne films? Here you go:
- The Bourne Ultimatum 4/4
- The Bourne Identity 3.5/4
- The Bourne Supremacy 3.5/4
- Jason Bourne 3/4
- The Bourne Legacy 2.5/4
So it’s fourth on the list, that may seem bad, but it isn’t. This is not an indictment on Jason Bourne, but rather just further proof of how good the trilogy is. Discussion about the trilogy aside, Jason Bourne is flat-out better than most action films out there today. It may not be better than the original three, but it is the action film we deserve, especially after this shite month in film. In the end, Jason Bourne is at best a serviceable spy thriller, but at the same time it is also an excellent action showcase that deserves to be watched.
Paul Greengrass is a world class director, and Jason Bourne only further proves that point. Greengrass is the master of controlling chaos. In one of the opening moments of Jason Bourne, Bourne has to make his way through a violent protest, all the while escaping the bad guys. It’s an entirely chaotic part of the film, but Greengrass captured it with perfection. He was able to balance the protest shots with some Bourne action, and it made for a very tense sequence.
Jason Bourne proved that Damon can still kick ass as the titular protagonist. He’s every bit as believable in this film as he was in The Bourne Identity. Damon might be in better shape in Jason Bourne than in The Bourne Ultimatum. I was worried that Damon might be too old for this role, but he proved me wrong. Damon was definitely great, but I wish Greengrass gave him a little more room to flex his dramatic acting muscles. Bourne is a little too cold in this film, but it isn’t because of Damon.
Let’s talk about the Las Vegas sequence in Jason Bourne. Wow, just wow. I had no Idea Las Vegas could be such an excellent locale for a high stakes chase scene, but it was. To me, the Las Vegas chase scene brought Jason Bourne from a 2.5 to a 3. It was a pulse pounding sequence that worked on all levels. The direction, stunts, soundtrack, etc. were all in sync and it was perfect.
I disagree with the 55% RT score, but I can definitely understand why many critics were not satisfied with Jason Bourne. I won’t spoil any details, but Jason Bourne is the least intelligent Bourne film. Greengrass and Rouse picked one of the simplest plot devices of all time (and one of the most common) in order to give Bourne a reason to come back, and it wasn’t compelling. In terms of action and direction, this is a Bourne film at it’s best, but the writing gives us Bourne at its worst. There’s a reason the film fell flat in the middle, the story was not all that interesting.
One other major complaint I have with Jason Bourne is that Tommy Lee Jones was a very, very bland villain. He was basically a watered down version of each CIA director in the previous Bourne films, and he wasn’t an interesting character. This was a letdown because I thought we could see another Fugitive type performance by Jones, this was not the case.
How good was Jason Bourne???