Sunday, July 31, 2016

Movie Review: "Jason Bourne"

After a nine year wait, Jason Bourne has returned to movie screens in what is perhaps the best Bourne movie of them all.  Jason Bourne picks up nearly a decade after The Bourne Ultimatum, with Matt Damon's Bourne currently living in Greece as a street fighter, off of the CIA's radar.  Of course it wouldn't be a Bourne movie if Bourne wasn't drawn back into the crosshairs of the CIA, only this time it's personal, when a major revelation about Bourne's past comes to light that propels Bourne on his quest for revenge.  To say too much would rob this movie of the franchise's trademark twists and turns, which are all executed well by director Paul Greengrass.

Once more, Damon does far more with the role than what is required.  With only about two dozen lines of dialogue in the whole two hour movie, Damon has to make us feel for Bourne through his actions and facial expressions, which with a character as stoic as Bourne, is no small feat.  I can't help but think that had The Bourne Identity director, Doug Liman, cast a lesser actor as Bourne, the franchise would have never made it this far.  Joining Damon once more is Julia Stiles, as former CIA analyst turned whistleblower, Nicky Parsons, as well as newcomers to the franchise, Tommy Lee Jones and Alicia Vikander.  Vikander portrays a morally questionable CIA cyber agent on the trail of Bourne, while Jones acts as the head of the CIA.  I have often said that I think every movie would be better with just a little bit of Tommy Lee Jones, and that is true here as well.  However, what makes Jason Bourne possibly the best Bourne movie, is the emotional motivation that drives him in this one.

The first three Bourne movies were all pretty much about Bourne learning who he was by exposing what the CIA did to him, and once he did that, that was it.  We didn't get to see what those revelations really meant for Bourne, which is what Jason Bourne does.   When we first see Bourne again, he is a man adrift.  He has no purpose in life and is struggling with the knowledge that he was a killer.  Then Nicky comes back into his life, and with her she brings an emotional bombshell that sends Bourne into action once more.  It is that emotional bombshell that makes Jason Bourne such a strong movie.  It creates a basic human reason for the carnage beyond Bourne simply wanting to know who he was.  Of course, while the Bourne movies have always been known for their smart storytelling, they're still action movies first and foremost, and Jason Bourne more than satisfies on that mark.

From a tense motorcycle chase during a riot in Greece, all the way to a car chase on the Las Vegas strip, Jason Bourne is an adrenaline-fueled thrill ride.  While I think the final fight between Bourne and the bad guy is a little lackluster compared to some of the great fight scenes in previous Bourne movies, the end result of the fight is emotionally cathartic.

All in all, Jason Bourne is a movie that you must see if you are a fan of the Bourne movies.  While I am not sure how well the movie will play if this is the first Bourne movie you've ever seen, Jason Bourne is such a well-crafted spy thriller, that I think just about anyone interested in this type of movie will feel rewarded.

I give Jason Bourne a 9 out of 10!

No comments:

Post a Comment