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Jason Bourne (2016) Movie Review

This Movie Review is the Brain Child of so many different personalities!!!

Because it's one the onesheet...of the 4th movie.

Because it's one the onesheet...of the 4th movie.

MPAA Rating

PG-13

Running Time

123 minutes

Director

Paul Greengrass

Writers

Paul Greengrass and Christopher Rouse

After 9 years, the aughties’ seminal action franchise returns for a 4th time, a relatively entertaining if completely unnecessary addition to the Bourne legacy (having nothing to do with 2012’s The Bourne Legacy). As far as 4th entries go, JB is much better than the dead-on-arrival Spectre and a notch above Live Free or Die Hard. There’s a lot to like about JB, just not much to love.

Jason Bourne opens with Nicky (Julia “Harry” Stiles- Hustlers) Parsons hacking into the CIA Snowden-style (Snowden is mentioned more than once in the movie- you know, cuz it’s topical) and extracting information from Black Operations, namely the programs in which Jason Bourne (AKA David Webb AKA Linus Caldwell AKA Little Timmy Hartwell) is/has been a part of. She finds the name Richard Webb, and surmises it is Bourne’s dad.

Now, I’m obviously not part of the CIA, but the folder in which Nicky gets this information is very conveniently titled Black Operations, making for one of the most unintentionally funny moments of the movie. I make up their porn folder is labeled Porn and within contains subfolders Underage P*rn, H*ge Black D*cks, Animals, and Daniel Radcliffe.

Nicky gets enough info before she is booted off the system by a young CIA analyst (or whatever she is) Heather Lee (newly minted Oscar Winner Alicia Vikander in a vaguely defined role). Heather looks up Nicky’s file, knows she used to work for the agency, and knows she’s been connected with the ever-elusive Jason Bourne.

Meanwhile Jason Bourne himself (Matt Damon, saying fewer words than usual- Ford V Ferrari) has been living off the grid (this phrase- like Snowden- will be used about a half-dozen times during the movie). He’s been making a living fighting against other random people. He’s made a nice name for himself because nobody wants to bet on the white guy.

At one of his fights in Greece, Bourne sees Nicky. Nicky leaves him a note for them to meet right where there’s a political demonstration in order to be amidst the chaos for maximum distraction.

Unfortunately, Heather has been tracking Nicky since she hacked the Black Operations folder (right next to the Government Secrets folder), told her boss CIA Director Robert Dewey (Tommy Lee Jones, doing his bad guy shtick from the late 80s to mid-90s) and now multiple teams from the Agency are after her, including an assassin with a bone to pick with Bourne (Vincent Cassel, the French thief from the last 2 Ocean’s movies).

Ben Affleck should be here, shouldn't he?

Ben Affleck should be here, shouldn't he?

Nicky and Bourne meet up and realize they’re being tracked by the agency. There’s a chase through Greece, and Nicky gets shot, but not before she hands Bourne a very important flash drive no doubt containing very important secrets (the flash drive is labeled Very Important Flash Drive With Very Important Secrets along with Daniel Radcliffe).

Now Bourne is off. Again.
To find out stuff from his past. Again.
Revelations will be revealed in a very revealing fashion. Again.
Matt Damon will do all the talking with his fists. Again. Yup, he’ll be doing a lot of fisting.

For the next 2 hours you’ll see people looking at video monitors with ruffled eyebrows, people talking on the phone, people dialing the phone with desperation, people saying “It’s Jason Bourne” with baited breath, and people reading files (both the computer and papery kind). It’s just as exciting as it reads.

For the next 2 hours you’ll see people looking at video monitors with ruffled eyebrows, people talking on the phone, people dialing the phone with desperation, people saying “It’s Jason Bourne” with baited breath, and people reading files (both the computer and papery kind). It’s just as exciting as it reads.

I know I just repeated the same paragraph twice, but you're reading a review for a 4th Bourne movie as if you don't know exactly what you're getting yourself into...


Not Ben Affleck, but you'll do...

Not Ben Affleck, but you'll do...

What Works with Jason Bourne

  • The chase in Greece in the 1st act of the movie is as close to “breathless” as can be attributed to anything this summer. Director Paul Greengrass (the previous 2 Bourne films as well as Captain Phillips) is as good as any director out there in terms of action choreography, considering there were at least 4 elements that had to be kept clear for the audience during this sequence at no times is the audience confused. Not a good thing that this is the highlight of the entire movie about 15 minutes in.
  • The climactic chase in Vegas is as close to “climactic” as can be attributed to anything this summer. Director Paul Greengrass (Captain Phillips as well as the previous 2 Bourne films) is as good as any director out there >>>>fast forward>>> at least 3 elements that had to be>>>fast forward>>> thought it was weird that the movie ends in Vegas, just like an Ocean’s film, with the French guy from the Ocean’s film.
  • Matt Damon slips into Bourne easily, but there’s nothing about it we haven’t seen in 3 previous movies. The standout in the cast in Alicia Vikander, even more impressive given how formless her character is written. Someone give this woman her own franchise.
  • Alicia Vikander is the new Lara Croft. That was quick.

What Doesn’t Work With Jason Bourne

  • Given what Bourne has found out about himself in 3 movies, what more could Bourne learn about his past that’s worth enough to fill an entire movie? The answer (from the script written by Greengrass and Christopher Rouse) is not much. When you find out the big reveal, your reaction is pretty much “That’s it?” Not really worth the 9 year wait.
  • A bloated subplot involving Tommy Lee Jones’ character and an Internet Billionaire (The Night of’s Riz Ahmed) feels out of place and seems to belong in another movie. It borrows elements from Captain America The Winter Soldier and Captain America Civil War except, you know, is nowhere near as well written.
She has to turn it on first.

She has to turn it on first.

Overall

You want to like Jason Bourne more than you actually do, as the 4th movie only reminds you of how good Supremacy and Ultimatum were in retrospect. If you want to end the franchise on a high note you’d be better off not seeing JB. Since Bourne fans are going to see this regardless, be grateful it’s not A Good Day To Die Hard or something else similarly stillBourne.

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