Everything you love about Jason Bourne is in this installment. With little else added.
There was a lot of hype when The Bourne Identity (2002) was released. For example, about Jason’s fighting style. I fondly remember watching this feature about how every move he makes encapsulates efficiency and instant delivery. And there there was the other kind of hype, as in flaming, and practically all of these revolved around the complete removal of the Jackal, the other signature character from Robert Ludlum’s original series. With almost ten years since The Bourne Ultimatum (2007), these are mostly forgotten. What’s remembered is that the Bourne Trilogy was a box office success, on top of establishing Matt Damon’s worth as an action star.
And so Jason Bourne (2016) is of course an unabashed attempt to milk more money from the aging franchise. In the name of giving Bourne fans more of what they loved and cheered for.
It kind of delivers. You get plenty of that deadly Jason Bourne single-mindedness. Plenty of car chases, ambushes, double crossings, and death duels too. The action scenes, by the way, best enjoyed with eyes attuned to the art of sssshhaakkkyccaaammm.
On the other hand, the premise of the movie makes little sense. It is incredulous that after what Jason did in Ultimatum, no authority from Langley devoted a whole department to taking him out. For the story to again revolve around that question of, “er, why am I Jason?” also feels tired and vapid. Why didn’t the producers probe deeper into the question of privacy versus national security, instead of leaving that as a cumbersome sub-plot? On a brighter note, Alicia Vikander’s stoic ambiguity breathes some fresh air into the saga. In several ways, I feel she is an equal of Jason Bourne. Her character should be one to look forward to, should we get another episode in this franchise.
Quirky PS: Many travel guides speak of “walking purposefully” while vacationing, so as to discourage scammers and muggers. This movie is a great tutorial on how to do that.
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