Jason Bourne – 3.5/5 – Movie Reviews by Ry!

jason bourneJason Bourne – 3.5/5 – A return to a franchise is one that can be considered a revival of something great or a reach for the studios to recreate past glory.  No matter what you may consider, returning to a franchise gives another window to experience places and characters that have been enjoyed before.  The Bourne Trilogy is one of the most well-known spy thrillers to hit the big screen; one that combines realism, drama and action into an accelerating ride.  It has been a while since we last saw Bourne, but it is never too late for him to come out of hiding.  With this new entry, we find a man pulled out of shadows again.  Even with some rehashing plot points and redundancy, there is enough action and intrigue with Jason Bourne for a formidable experience at the theaters.

Premise: One of the most dangerous CIA operatives is pulled out of the shadows once more.  With new detail into his past, Bourne must unravel the truth to everything that may or may not be a lie.

Returning to this iconic role is actor, Matt Damon.  Even though it has been almost a decade since we last saw him as Jason Bourne, it feels as if he has never left.  From the get go; you feel the aura of what made this character great.  Damon provides us with a person that’s deeply broken by his past.  You see a man empowered by his fragile mind and translate it through physical and emotive prowess.  With minimal dialogue, Damon does a great job in providing commandment of the screen through facial quips, physical stances, action entanglement and swift contemplation between fellow allies, the CIA and a Rogue Agent.  Through it all, you feel a return of Jason Bourne.  The confliction with his past can be viewed as the typical flawed character trope; but because of whom is in the role and the relevance through charisma, the clichés are drowned out by the enthralling acting.  With the rest of the cast, you have a returner with some newcomers.  In the complimentary roles, you have:

Tommy Lee Jones as Robert Dewey (CIA Director)

Alicia Vikander as Heather Lea (CIA operative)

Vincent Cassel as Asset (Rogue Agent)

Julia Stiles as Nicky Parsons (ally)

With some strong actors/actresses you get the same kind of empowering notions like the main character.  The gravitas of being strong, brass and assertive creates a dynamic that provides a break from the traditional ‘good vs bad’ scenario.  Everyone (including Bourne) have a moral compass that is tested through the various scenarios that happen within the film.  You get to see some deep invoking interactions that emphasize a characterized approach towards relationships.  This helps block out the action archetypes; putting focus on the intensity and confrontation throughout the story.  With the rest of the secondary cast, they don’t stand out strongly as these four or Jason Bourne.  Even within their traditional portrayals, the rest do enough to create worth as background characters.  They help add realistic overtures to the spy aspect of the film.

The direction takes on this film by (on the surface) linearly moving through by the typical investigative concept.  This is imbued further by using (loosely) procedural stylings within the spy-action genre.  What this means is that we have a main character that is thrust into an unwelcomed situation that brings them to face an unwanted but predictable outcome.  Through this, they find clues and link past/future scenarios to bring about a common conflict that is either:

  1. A personal connection
  2. An answer to the Ultimate Question

This becomes the basic plot driving factor for this film.  This is a concept that has been used many times; one that helps thrust the audience into the world of Jason Bourne.  This time around, the film delves deeper into the CIA, technological involvement and new/developing Block Ops divisions.  Infusion of these three and placing them against a simplistic motive helps build upon things that could have been considered loose ends or unexplainable.  Creating a basic threads helps move the film at a quick pace.  You are never left to think too much further than what is on the surface.  As has been used in the previous three films; we see Bourne thrust into the limelight because of his past.  He believes to have found all the answers, but someone brings him new information that could unravel his past and the CIA’s new divisions.  With three different parties in play (Jason Bourne, CIA and Rogue Agent), we get a mixture of fast pace action, realistic thematic drama and character like expositional moments.  When these elements intertwined, the film repeats in the following pattern:

Main character(s) investigates > action/confrontations occur > revelation occurs for past/future elements > lead on to new investigation

All of this is a rehashing of the same concepts from past films, but it works.  Even if the redundancy might make you feel some lunacy, the aspect of the characters, action and interactions keeps the experience thrilling.  The lack of original directives may also put a spotlight on the thin plot.  Even when this happens, the relevancy of Jason Bourne and his tactics helps create something ironically refreshing.  The art of the direction is based in grounding the characters in a realistic setting.  As this becomes a ‘globetrotting’ experience, that point of finding ‘truth’ within the basic art of characterized familiarity makes the film worth watching.  Once we get all of the clues out on the table, this brings the heart of the investigation to a dark and personal note.  This leads all players to converge in Las Vegas for the third act.  Once we head into the final part, it becomes a mixture of high-octane action, interpersonal interactions and hand-to-hand realistic combat.  All of this is cut through a methodical approach of gritty and raw detail.  Once everything comes to head, Jason Bourne is left with the burden of finally completing his story that brings in that familiar ‘full circle’ epilogue.  Once we reach the end, it provides you with the typical kind of ending that all the other three had; leaving the audience with the ominous feeling that there will be a return for Bourne.

The visuals are based in the art of realism.  The director does a great job in providing an aspect of authenticity by focusing on the characters and locales.  With the film going around the globe (London, Greece and Las Vegas), we get an ‘all around’ feeling staked in the claim of believability.  Even when there is slight use of shaky cam; it never boils down to something irritating because the action overwhelms with a gripping euphoria.  The quick cutting and visceral nature of the camera hides the shakiness while helping make everything feel real.  The score is typical to a spy/action film.  A lot of the sounds were a reuse of previous films, but it helps bring you back into the world.

Jason Bourne is a film that brings you back into the spy/action saga that you know and love.  Even if there is a lot of rehashing concepts, there is enough here to keep you entertained till the end.  If you’re a fan of the series, Matt Damon or like a good spy/action film, this is one for you.  This is worth going to the theaters for.

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