It’s time to look at the latest entry in the Bourne franchise. The series has had pretty cool titles up til now so it was a little disappointing to see that this one just used the main character’s name. It makes sense for the marketing I suppose, but it’ll also make it a little harder to look for things from this movie through Google Search in a few years since the character will keep on popping up. Jason Bourne is a fun film and a nice installment in the series although I dare say that the third film was better and probably the second as well. I’m inclined to say that this one beats the fourth film though and I can barely remember the first one at this point. It’s a nice way to start wrapping up the summer and probably is the final good film of this season.
Jason Bourne has been living under the radar. He enters fights to make a decent living and is content to stay off the grid. Unfortunately, that is no longer an option when one of his old friends requests a meet and the government quickly finds out about this. One thing leads to another and now Bourne must find out the extra details of his past which were kept from him all these years. The organization behind the Bourne initiative better watch out because Bourne isn’t leaving without some new knowledge. Meanwhile, they see this as their best chance to take him out of the equation once and for all!
I was definitely looking forward to this title because of how good the trailer was. It’s no exaggeration to say that it is the best non superhero trailer of 2016. (Wide release theater films only) Jack Reacher gives it a little competition, but Bourne could not be topped. The music was perfect and the plot seemed like it would be a lot of fun. Unfortunately, things do feel just a little random at times and I partially blame this on the film not being long enough or simply having too many plots. Typically, I wanted to see more of Bourne. The social media subplot just didn’t really go anywhere.
Of course, it is a positive for the film that it goes by so quickly as well. The pacing never really died down except for when it tried to show off the side characters a little too much. The soundtrack was pretty solid although not as good as the trailer theme. It’s the intense chase scene type music that you would expect although the sound effects typically drown it out so I’m already starting to forget it all. I liked the special effects that were used whenever the government was shown. As many people pointed out during the trailer, they probably shouldn’t have a big folder called “BlackOps” as it makes ta hacker’s job a lot easier, but I suppose they were really proud of their security. It ultimately was pretty good, but most of the staff didn’t know how to handle it which defeats the purpose. The fun visuals are one of the main reasons why I love to see the government play a big role in a film.
The other reason is for all of the tough talk. Dewey is one of the big villains and also one of the best characters in the film. He may even be The best. Dewey does a good job of sabotaging everyone and proving that nothing is beneath him as he does whatever it takes to stay ahead. It’s easy to see how he got promoted to such a high organization and he gets most of the best lines. There’s always some kind of plan going on inside of his head and in the end, he proves that he can take on even the best of agents in a one on one fight.
Naturally, Jason Bourne is a good character as well. He’s still super intelligent and knows how to stay away from the government. He’s tends to say something pretty intense and epic whenever he talks. It’s made pretty clear that Bourne can’t be found unless it’s part of his plan. He knows the system way too well to fall for any of the tricks and traps that are set for him. The intro scene is definitely not great for him as he really lost his way, but now that he has a purpose, he should stick around as the Bourne that we all remember. When it’s clutch time, Bourne will pull through in the end. He’s a much better James Bond than 007 ever was and is still one of the better agents out there.
Nicky is the girl from the trailer and her role is rather small. Her heart’s in the right place, but she doesn’t really seem like she’s ready for this level of strategic thinking. She doesn’t really seem to take the government seriously and just walks from trap to trap constantly. It’s good that she helped to get Bourne back into the game, but I would have liked for her to have done a little better. Taking out a few soldiers and coming up with a plan would have been cool. Meanwhile, we’ve got Heather as the other heroine. She works for Dewey, but has aspirations of her own. She certainly is very tech savvy and does a good job of making sure to be present whenever Bourne strikes. I’d say that Heather is rather charismatic. It’s always tough working for someone who’s both powerful and evil, but Heather does a decent job of it. While she was fairly likable, it’ll be a little hard to take her seriously as long as she has to take orders from her higher ups. Of course, she’ll have a whole film and possibly more to develop herself as a true threat…or hero by the end.
There’s also an assassin who wants revenge on Bourne. As a result of Bourne leaking everything that the organization did to the web, he was captured and held for several years. There’s nothing to like about this guy though and the film doesn’t even try to make you feel sympathetic for him. He’s a villain plain and simple and you’re still going to be rooting for Bourne to take him down. I also felt that he did a little too good in the end as he took down many cops and road blocks before Bourne finally cornered him. Films always make roadblocks look incredibly inept so I like to think that in real life they are a little better.
I mean, you see a guy approaching in an armored van. Knowing this, you set up a blockade which consists of two little police cars, which the guy runs over. The cops always looked shocked at this outcome, but this is what will always happen. There’s no reason for the guy not to run into the cars. At least half heartedly shoot at the tires! Instead, the casualties were very high as the guy rammed into dozens of cars and really took the house down. It was pretty cool visually, but I can’t help but feel bad for the civilians. (And all of the poor cops who got in the way)
Unfortunately, the fight scenes weren’t very good in this film. The final fight in particular was poorly handled as it just tried to be super violent and gritty to remind us that Bourne is a tough guy who can fight under pain. I’m sure that all of us already knew that. This film was definitely a little more violent than it needed to be, but at least nothing else was quite as bad as that final fight. Locking someone up in the bathtub was also unnecessary though as it was just there to be gritty as well. This aspect of the film certainly hurts it the most.
The ending is pretty conclusive and there doesn’t really need to be any more sequels, but they could certainly expand on the situation some more if they want. Bourne didn’t get to read the complete file so there is certainly more to see there and the whole plot twist with his father just came out of left field as well. I think the film tried a little too hard to turn the situation into one big conspiracy, but that’s not a bad thing either. It’s certainly reasonable to think that the government planned for all of this. Also, it was fun to hear the classic Bourne theme from the older films play again. It’s been ages since I got to hear that on.
The best part of this film was easily the first big action scene in the film. It’s the one from the trailers where the town is burning and the heroes are trying to stay away from the cops. THat was definitely handled really well and I could have definitely been content for that scene to have kept going on and on and on. It just had the most Bourne like feel to it and even the fights in this scene were far better than what we got at the ending.
Finally, there is also a subplot about a social media product. This was probably the plot that was the most forced as it’s basically just a social commentary on what is going on behind the scenes. The government is naturally trying to use the guy’s product in the shadows so the people don’t realize it. The guy decides that people deserve their privacy and decides to fight back. People who are already conspiratorial about how the government is always watching will definitely enjoy this, but it just felt like this plot had no business being here. It’s nice that the guy is trying to protect our privacy I guess, but I actually agree with Dewey here. It certainly makes it a lot tougher for the government to do their job and in this digital age, there is always someone watching. No data is truly private. The second you turn on the computer, you become a data point that someone is using. It’s just how the times have rolled on.
Overall, Jason Bourne plays out like your average action film. None of the plot twists are too unexpected and you can follow the plot well enough from your experience with other films. That being said, the film does handle itself relatively well and just because it’s a little predictable doesn’t make it a bad flick. I’m sure it beats most of the other rival action films that are out at the moment although Jack Reacher could give it a nice fight. This film has started a new era for the Bourne series so I look forward to seeing where it goes from here. I recommend this film and one important thing that it has over other films is that the main cast is rather solid. Just about everyone is likable and that’s always a good thing.