I’ve never really gotten into the Bourne movies. I’ve always found the series to be bland, with each movie in the franchise essentially working off the same plot. But I keep watching them, because I enjoy a good spy thriller. So even if Jason Bourne doesn’t quite feel as consistently intriguing as a James Bond flick or Mission: Impossible, I’ll sit through it just to see Matt Damon break a few faces.
Jason Bourne is the fifth film in the franchise and reunites lead actor, Matt Damon, with Paul Greengrass (The Bourne Supremacy, The Bourne Ultimatum). Damon again portrays the titular character, a former super soldier/assassin for the CIA who revolted against the ruthless program that created him. This time, he is roped back in when former CIA operative turned ally, Nicky Parsons (Julia Stiles), threatens to expose another shady program under the direction of CIA Director Robert Dewey (Tommy Lee Jones). Academy Award Winner Alicia Vikander also stars as Heather Lee, a CIA expert on cyber threats who is caught in between her duty and her desire to recruit Bourne back into the agency.
If you loved all of the Bourne movies leading up to Jason Bourne then there is no reason not to like this one. The action sequences are swift and exhilarating and seeing Matt Damon return to the role feels right. Vincent Cassel also provides a worthy threat as a villainous, vengeful version of Bourne known only as The Asset. But, if you’re like me, and you’ve found this series generic and uninspiring… then guess what?
The story feels identical to each and every other movie in the franchise, even the one that didn’t even have Matt Damon in it. And yet, newcomers will undoubtedly be confused with the meager attempt to get audiences up to speed. Other annoying issues like the nauseating shaky camera are also only things purists to the series can enjoy.
I’d hoped that bringing Matt Damon back would signal a sense of revitalization. But it’s the same game with slightly different players. At this point, either come up with a different storyline other than “Bourne vs. the stiff, mustache twirling CIA”, or let the franchise die off. I’m not saying Jason Bourne isn’t entertaining, but it’s certainly isn’t worth the full price of admission when you can just watch something equally generic on Netflix or Redbox.
FINAL GRADE: C