From the very first shot, you know this is a Jason Bourne film. You are instantly thrown back into the world of espionage, car chases and close quarters combat. Jason Bourne has the feel, look, and familiarity of the first three, yet the plot lacked a bit only in hindsight. I say this because you’re having way too much fun to notice the film’s one tiny unpolished spot until it’s already over.
Matt Damon said he wouldn’t come back to do another Bourne movie unless Paul Greengrass was directing again and that was the right call. After a failed attempt to continue without them, it was very apparent that no other pair could make the same films work so well.
The start of this film finds Jason Bourne (Damon) off the grid and doing what he can to survive when he’s suddenly thrust back into chaos thanks to a huge hack of classified CIA documents. One of these docs has to do with a certain company in Silicon Valley that has ties to the CIA. This is both a good and bad thing: good because it brings what felt like an ‘old school’ spy movie into the 21st century, but bad because I loved the ‘old school’ feel of the first three.
But what this franchise continues to do so well is take you all over the world, jumping back and forth to give us more of a sense of just how wide the CIA’s range is. Plus, the cast is top notch (as always) with Julia Stiles returning, Tommy Lee Jones, Vincent Cassel and Alicia Vikander. Vikander was a little flat in some scenes, but her character was one of the more interesting and likely to continue into the next film, if there is to be a next (please please please).
My only gripe with the movie is that the plot felt straight-forward compared to the first three (Identity, Supremacy, Ultimatum). It didn’t have as many tense spy moments and was more of an action movie. When the car chases and fights were happening, it seemed like the movie stopped to focus on that and didn’t have anything driving the plot for 5 – 10 minutes. Sadly, there was not another spectacular fight scene like the bathroom duel in Ultimatum, but it lived up to the reputation that the Bourne films still have some of the best hand-to-hand fights in the business.
Much like Star Wars, this doesn’t best any of the original three. But unlike Star Wars, this is a welcome addition to the franchise. I hope this does well enough to continue these characters story because Jason Bourne proved that Matt Damon and Paul Greengrass are a great team and can still make one of the best action spy movies.