Jason Bourne

It felt like there should be a really good reason to bring Jason Bourne out of retirement, there wasn't.
Laetitia Laubscher
Published on July 31, 2016


Jason Bourne is back. Those four words were enough to get me pretty excited about what was next in Bourne's world. It had been nine years since Bourne went into retirement in The Bourne Ultimatum, so it felt like there should be a really good reason to to bring him back again. That perhaps it was some Linklater-type move of genius to age Bourne in real-time, who knows. All I knew was that he was back and I was going to be at the cinema with open arms to welcome him.

Those were all the hopes that in the film's 123-minute run time were shredded, spat on and then trampled into tiny shards for the cinema ushers to scoop up after the movie had finished. Jason Bourne is not a terrible movie, but it's somewhere in the neighbourhood between that and average. That would be forgivable for a blockbuster, usually, but not if it's the sequel to what was an amazing trilogy. You can't just do that to people.

The first three Bourne movies - The Bourne Identity, The Bourne Supremacy and The Bourne Ultimatum, were well thought-out, complex stories each with its own purpose. Here, creativity took an absolute hiatus as the movie pulled out of nowhere some tortured father-son narrative that motivates Bourne to kill a few more people in revenge. The father-son relationship is supposed to be the crux of the story, but frankly I couldn't care less. Paul Greengrass (the director) doesn't make me care. I didn't care about any of the characters or what happened to them. In the end I sort of wished that Bourne would get killed so that we would be spared the possibility of a Jason Bourne II (spoiler: obviously he doesn't). Frankly, I don't even know if the filmmakers cared either, they couldn't even be bothered giving the movie a name that would fall in line with the other Bournes, it's just like they gave up thinking about a title and then went with Jason Bourne.

Without any genuine human connection in the film, it means that what we're left with is basically a ton of scenes where Bourne runs around avoiding death and talks on the phone while looking concerned and then some "with it" and "deep" discussions on privacy and the internet added on to seem more relevant.

Even Alicia Vikander, who plays a lead role as a CIA agent and who was the breakout star of maybe the last year or two (Ex Machina, The Danish Girl and coming soon as the new Lara Croft) and who usually has such an amazing range and may have done something to get this movie out of the massive hole it fell into, just fell flat. It was like the director told her to hark back to her Ex Machina days playing a robot but just with a more wooden, more mechanical face.

I don't know what's going on. I don't know who to blame, but the film was a dull, relative disaster. I feel so betrayed.


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