Thursday, February 23, 2017

Jason Bourne Movie Review

Jason Bourne (2016)
Buy Jason Bourne on Amazon Video
Written by: Paul Greengrass & Christopher Rouse (Written by), Robert Ludlum (characters)
Directed by: Paul Greengrass
Starring: Matt Damon, Tommy Lee Jones, Alicia Vikander
Rated: PG-13

My rating is simple, Watch It, It Depends, Skip it. Read my previous movie reviews!

Jason Bourne comes out of hiding yet again to uncover more secrets and lies.

Bourne has run his course. This movie has neither reason nor purpose. It's the exact same story we've seen in previous Bourne movies, and this doesn't do it better. While it tries to weave in a social media government surveillance conspiracy to set it apart, that plot point is distinctly shallow.
Skip it.

The basic premise of this movie is tired. It's the same premise as the other Bourne movies. In this one Nicky (Julia Stiles) comes out of nowhere to uncover more information about Bourne's past and the government for no real reason other than to start this movie. Bourne has no reason to join her until the government tracks her down and kills her. While Bourne had no intentions of joining her in a the search for information, her death causes him to look into what she found. He doesn't care, but he has to do this for the plot of the movie, I mean for Nicky.

Before this penultimate moment, I wondered when the movie would actually start. The movie opens with Bourne bare knuckle brawling in some secluded country. If you think that sounds exciting, it's not. Bourne lays the guy out in a single punch. It's pointless. He spent more time wrapping his hands than fighting. I already know Bourne can fight, it was how he used his environment as a weapon, not his brute force, that made fights exciting.

It's such a banal story. The government using social media to spy on everyone everywhere is tacked on. If the movie had tried to develop it instead of using it as a throwaway, it might have helped. The movie alleges the government has cameras everywhere, even inexplicably so. We see an assassin (Vincent Cassel) looking down the scope of his rifle and then the movie cuts to the Tommy Lee Jones seeing that same viewpoint on a government monitor. Is there a camera in the scope or the assassin's eye?

Damon refused to do the last Bourne movie due to the quality of the script which is why we got The Bourne Legacy (2012) with Jeremey Renner. Is the quality of this script that much better?
Have they already come to the end of cool nouns for the title? The Bourne Banality would have worked. The Bourne Continuity is to the point.

I couldn't wait for this movie to end. So much of it is unnecessary, but then the whole movie is that way. All the bits about Bourne's history and his dad seem like fabrications for this latest movie. I don't remember the series well enough to confirm, but I'm pretty sure this movie created backstory out of thin air just to pad the run time. I don't understand why it rehashes the same story. It could have at least changed up the formula and had the government pursuing Bourne. That's better than the low effort reason he came out of hiding this time.

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