Bourne Series review


Jason Bourne (Matt Damon) and Nikki Parsons (Julia Styles) in “Jason Bourne”

It is astonishing to think that there was a time when the “Bourne” movies were actually good. I mean, it’s been like 10 whole years since “The Bourne Ultimatum” came out and there still has not been a competent follow-up. There was “The Bourne Legacy,” which followed the uninteresting story of someone named Aaron Cross, and then last year we got “Jason Bourne.” I was really hoping “Jason Bourne” was going to be good considering how it brought back Matt Damon as Jason Bourne and Paul Greengrass as director; however, that was not the case. Considering all of this, “Jason Bourne” does beg the question: what made “Bourne” great? If it wasn’t the director, and it wasn’t Matt Damon, then what was it?

I think the best places to look for the true D.N.A. of the “Bourne” franchise are the two not directed by Paul Greengrass: “Identity” and “Legacy.” Both of these movies are relatively removed from the style of movie that Greengrass went for with his additions to the franchise. For instance, in “Identity” Bourne’s entire motivation is to try and figure out who he was before he got amnesia. The payoff to this journey was also incredibly gratifying as it showed that even when Bourne was an international assassin he wasn’t a immoral killer. In fact, Bourne’s dislike of killing becomes one of his most striking attributes in the later Greengrass movies. Another thing that is equally iconic in “Identity” was the incredibly realistic car chases. Bourne wasn’t fleeing police in some fancy camero; Jason Bourne was running from the cops in what was the most dilapidated Mini Coup ever recorded on film. Despite this, Bourne is still able to achieve “The Fast and the Furious” level thrills.

As for the aspects of a great Bourne movie present in “Legacy” the only thing I can really say I liked was the global nature of Aaron Cross’ adventure. I mean, from scene to scene Cross moves from continent to continent, and, honestly, it helps hold my attention when the movie’s dialogue is especially uninteresting. It was nice to be able to at least enjoy the beautiful city streets of Cross’ incredibly boring adventure, but that’s all I enjoyed.

What is so upsetting about “Jason Bourne” is that it doesn’t even include the inticing locales of “Legacy;” and all the cars Bourne drive are of the expensive variety. Keeping in mind all the things done in previous Bourne films it is not hard to deduce why “Jason Bourne” just doesn’t fit the bill; and in classic Bourne fashion, I’ll let Moby’s “Extreme Ways” play me out.

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