Jason Bourne

I try to keep celebrities’ personal lives separate from the way I view their work, but sometimes it’s hard for me to draw a line between the two. Matt Damon (The Martian) was one of my favorite actors, and I thought of him as cool and smart, and he is – but recent comments have lead me to believe that he’s tone deaf at best, and ignorant at worst as it pertains to diversity in Hollywood. As an aspiring screenwriter, this troubles me. I still appreciate his work as an actor, but I can’t divorce myself from his recent statements and opinions. That being said, of COURSE I was going to see Jason Bourne. I own the first three installments in the trilogy on DVD, and I’m a big fan of the franchise.

Jason Bourne promised to reveal the secrets that have always tormented the super spy from the beginning. Who is he? Who can he trust? Has his government betrayed him? Unfortunately, I think the film was long on promises and short on results. It opens with the familiar face of Nicky Parsons (Julia Stiles, 11:55) whom you may recall is one of Bourne’s few allies. She hacks into the CIA database, accessing their black ops files in the hopes of gaining intelligence that might help Bourne piece together his past, including information about his father. Meanwhile, our hero is off the grid, earning a living as a bare-knuckle boxer. When Nicky reconnects with Bourne, she leads The Agency right to him, as they began tracking her as soon as the files were hacked. Headed by Director Dewey (Tommy Lee Jones, Criminal), the CIA dispatches an operative (Vincent Cassel, It’s Only the End of the World) to dispose of both Jason and Nicky.

What follows next is an exotic game of cat and mouse, as Bourne criss-crosses the globe in an attempt to exact revenge upon the CIA for betraying him. He is as formidable as ever, dispatching foes with ruthless efficiency. However, from a viewer’s standpoint, these scenes didn’t excite me. Part of the appeal of the first three Bourne movies was witnessing great hand-to-hand scenes like this one: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Yp2mYEKLxcA . If Bourne is knocking people out with one punch, where is the fun in that? Furthermore, the intrigue and mystery just weren’t there for me. The backstory involving his father was never fleshed out in a satisfying manner. The movie just felt like an opportunity for Damon to cash in, though he certainly doesn’t need the money. I thought he had moved on from this franchise? That’s why Jeremy Renner (Captain America: Civil War) stepped in for The Bourne Legacy. Now we have another installment with Damon and instead of rewarding, it’s just disappointing.

The film’s final act was effective, but after two hours of mediocrity, it wasn’t enough for me. And I wanted to like this movie, trust me. This franchise should’ve ended in 2007 and been limited to the true trilogy it once was. Grade: C

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