Everything you love about Jason Bourne is in this installment. But little else is added.
Jason Bourne Synopsis
A decade after the Operation Blackbriar incident, Jason Bourne has largely recovered from amnesia and is making a living by taking part in savage fighting bouts. He is then contacted by Nicky Parsons, who has discovered new evidence about Jason’s recruitment into Treadstone. Following Parson’s leads, Bourne uncovers more evidence, some of which points at his father’s key role in the mysterious project. At the same time, he comes across a new conspiracy involving the current CIA director. If successful, this scheme would provide the CIA with unprecedented and terrifying real-time mass surveillance capabilities.
There was quite a bit of hype when The Bourne Identity (2002) came out. For example, about Jason’s unique fighting style.
How well I still remember watching a feature about how every move of his emphasises on efficiency and instant results! And then there was also the other kind of hype, as in flaming, and practically all of this revolved around the complete removal of the Jackal, the other signature character from Robert Ludlum’s original series. With almost ten years since The Bourne Ultimatum (2007), these debates are now mostly forgotten. What’s remembered is only that the Bourne Trilogy was a box office success, on top of establishing Matt Damon’s worth as an action star.
Yes. A box office success. Which in turn means Jason Bourne (2016) is an unabashed attempt to milk more money from an aging franchise. In the name of “giving” Bourne fans more of what they loved and cheered for.
It kind of delivers. You get plenty of that deadly Jason Bourne single-mindedness. Plenty of car chases and ambushes and double crossings and death duels too; the action scenes, by the way, best experienced with eyes attuned to the art of sssshhaakkkyccaaammm.
What doesn’t work, on the other hand, is the premise of the story. It is incredulous that after what he did in Ultimatum, no authority from Langley devoted a whole department, if not a ministry, to taking Jason out.
And then there’s the story again revolving around that question of, “eh, why am I Jason?” Which is just so tiring and old. I would have much preferred the movie to instead probe deeper into the debate about privacy versus national security, and not just leave that as a cumbersome sub-plot. On a brighter note, Alicia Vikander’s stoic ambiguity brings a refreshing, intriguing new player to this action series. Her character would be one to look forward to, should we get another instalment in this franchise.
Useful PSA: Many travel guides speak of “walking purposefully” while vacationing, so as to discourage scammers and muggers. This movie is a great tutorial on how to do that.
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