Matt Damon returns as the film’s namesake in this slightly pointless but enjoyable sequel.
The film starts years after the events of The Bourne Ultimatum, in which Bourne learns he willingly volunteered for the Treadstone project before exposing Operation Blackbriar before going ‘off the grid’. Here, he is seemingly making a living in illegal fighting competitions before he is dragged back in by the appearance of Nicky Parsons, who has been working with a hacktivist group in Reykjavik to expose CIA secrets. She discovers information regarding Bourne’s recruitment into Treadstone and tracks him down.
The initial reasons for Bourne coming back feel a tad tenuous to begin with. The premise is that, while he remembers everything, he doesn’t necessarily know everything about Treadstone. Once he learns this, he wants to find out more. It does feel like an unnecessary to story to tell, to be completely honest. I felt Ultimatum wrapped but the series perfectly but I suppose with the nature of the endings of Bourne films, the story is never really over. Again here, the fimakers keep it open ended. It takes a while for the intrigue to set in and we’re not really sure why Bourne is pulled back in by Parsons, but once the mystery begins to unravel the feeling that this was a cynical attempt at a money grab was put to one side. Bourne is given a personal reason to be get back involved and while it feels a little forced and unnecessary, the viewer is quickly wrapped up in the story.
Alicia Vikander plays Heather Lee, head of cyber-ops, an up-and-comer in the CIA who sees bringing in Bourne as her ticket to the top. She wants Bourne to re-join, saying he’s a patriot at heart. Tommy Lee Jones plays CIA Director Robert Dewey, a guy who believes that access to personal information is key to maximise security. He makes a deal with a young entrepreneur, Aaron Kalloor (Riz Ahmed), in the technology/ social networking field to access its users personalised data. This plot thread feels a little shoehorned in, and doesn’t really tie into Bourne’s journey at all. It’s interesting to see the cyber-surveillance side of things, and at times the technology used within the operations is quite interesting, but is the whole privacy/surveillance debate getting a little tired?
Dewey and Lee track Parsons via the information she acquired and in doing so, find Bourne. Bourne seeks the truth about why he signed up for Treadstone in the first place while Dewey wants him dead and Lee wants a capture. It’s an interesting enough story to keep the viewer engaged but it does really feel like we’re retreading old ground here.
Overall, this is a decent enough film, even if it feels tenuously linked to the original trilogy. It’s got some great action scenes, in keeping with the standard we’ve come to expect from a Bourne film. It’s well paced and tightly written with strong performances but does lack the urgency and tension of the original films, which is probably to be expected by a film which is crowbarred into the continuity.
GOOD. While enjoyable enough, Jason Bourne fails to reach the heights of the original films.
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