Movie Review – Jason Bourne
There was quite a bit of hype when The Bourne Identity (2002) came out. For example, about Jason’s fighting style. I remember watching this feature about how every move he makes emphasises on efficiency and instant results. There was also the other kind of hype, as in flaming, and practically all of this 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 an 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 and ambushes and double crossings and death duels too; the action scenes, by the way, best enjoyed with eyes attuned to the art of sssshhaakkkyccaaammm. What doesn’t work is the premise of the story. It is incredulous that after what he 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?” is also tiring and rather vapid. I would much prefer the movie to instead probe deeper into the question of privacy versus national security, and not leave that as a cumbersome sub-plot. On a brighter note, Alicia Vikander’s stoic ambiguity brings an intriguing new player to this action series. Her character would be one to look forward to, should we get another instalment in this franchise.
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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