Review: Jason Bourne

The amnesiac assassin returns in Jason Bourne. A decade after remembering who he is and exposing the CIA’s Blackbriar project, former assassin Jason Bourne (Matt Damon) has been keeping a low profile overseas. However, when former CIA tech Nicky Parsons (Julia Stiles) hacks into the agency’s database and finds some new information about Bourne, she travels to Greece to get into contact with him. However, this attracts the attention of CIA Cyber Ops head Heather Lee (Alicia Vikander), who informs director Robert Dewey (Tommy Lee Jones). Dewey activates the Asset (Vincent Cassel), who is given the orders to take Bourne down.

While the film did leave the story open to continuation, 2007’s The Bourne Ultimatum was a pretty definitive conclusion to the trilogy of films about a former CIA assassin trying to remember his past. While there was an attempt to spin off the story with a new assassin in 2012’s The Bourne Legacy, this new film simply titled Jason Bourne brings the titular character back after a decade in exile.

Like The Bourne Legacy, Jason Bourne is a somewhat unnecessary continuation of the story, meant to cash in on a successful franchise, except this time they managed to bring back star Matt Damon and director Paul Greengrass. With a full nine years having passed since The Bourne Ultimatum, 46 year old Damon makes for a much more grizzled and world-weary Jason Bourne, who is still on the run, even though he had finally remembered his past as David Webb. Jason Bourne follows the very familiar formula of the franchise, with Tommy Lee Jones filling a role previously played by Chris Cooper, Brian Cox, and David Strathairn, Vincent Cassel following Clive Owen, Karl Urban, and Edgar Ramírez as the assassin du-jour, Alicia Vikander playing a combination of Joan Allen and Julia Styles’ characters, and even Julia Styles herself is taking on more of a Franka Potente role. Heck, the film even features a new mix of Moby’s “Extreme Ways” in the end credits.

While Jason Bourne can be seen as a fine enough continuation of the series, there is a big “been there, done that” feeling that comes when watching the film. The film does not truly start to get exciting until the climax, which features a highly destructive car chase through the Las Vegas strip. While fans of the previous trilogy should still dig Jason Bourne, it is not at the same level of the previous films and it might have been better if Jason Bourne remained in hiding.

7 / 10 stars

Sean Kelly Author

Sean Patrick Kelly is a self-described über-geek, who has been an avid film lover for all his life. He graduated from York University in 2010 with an honours B.A. in Cinema and Media Studies and he likes to believe he knows what he’s talking about when he writes about film (despite occasionally going on pointless rants).