Jason Bourne Movie Review: Bourne Is Back, But Slightly Boring
It was in 1980 that Robert Ludlum had written The Bourne Identity, a thriller novel about David Webb/Jason Bourne, a CIA operative who loses his memory following an operation and is hunted by his own masters. However, the character, which was immortalized by Matt Damon through the Bourne series, still continues to be remembered by everyone.
Though Damon had taken a sabbatical from the role, allowing Jeremy Renner to star in one of the Bourne films, the star is back in the saddle once again for Jason Bourne, which continues with the adventures of the brooding killer.
In the present film, Jason Bourne (Matt Damon) is making a living as a prize fighter at illegal fights and trying to forget his bloody past, which rears its head again when former CIA operative Nicky Parsons (Julia Stiles) hacks into the CIA database to find out about Jason's past and gets tracked by Heather Lee (Alicia Vikander), the head of CIA's cyber ops division.
CIA Director Robert Dewey (Tommy Lee Jones) promptly unleashes the 'Asset' (Vincent Cassel), a CIA assassin, who was captured and tortured when Bourne exposed Operation Blackbriar and has a personal score to settle with Bourne.
Once again, Jason Bourne leads the CIA team on a merry chase through the streets of Europe even as he tries to find the secret behind his own past and the death of his father Richard Webb, the creator of the original Treadstone program.
Damon looks exhausted and jaded in the latest film and lacks the brooding charm of the earlier films in the series. This time, it seems as if Damon is on auto-pilot and the effect is quite disappointing. Vikander does a decent job as an agent torn between duty and justice, but the makers fail to make it clear what triggers her actions when push comes to a shove. Tommy Lee Jones looks quite haggard and doesn't do anything much except for displaying his famous snarl while Cassel doesn't get much to offer in the acting department.
Though the Bourne series are known for some slick action scenes and high-adrenaline chase sequences, this time, the camera work is so jerky that it is tough to follow what is actually happening on the screen. The earlier Bourne films had allowed the viewer to watch Bourne's slick action moves at leisure from a vantage point, but the makers have denied this pleasure to the audience this time.
Moreover, there is an element of staleness to the entire tale. Once again we see Bourne being hunted by a team of killers while trying to find more about his past and the film is sure to evoke an unwelcome sense of déjà vu. Unlike the Bond films, the Bourne series peddles a similar plot in every film and one cannot help but wonder when the makers are going to offer something fresh.
If you are a fan of 'Bourne' films and have seen the previous ones, this one is bound to leave you feeling that you have seen it all before…