Jason Bourne: A Classic Action with a Real-World Message

Grade: A-
Release date: July 29, 2016
Running time: 2 hours and 3 minutes
Rating PG-13
Director: Paul Greengrass

En route to a dusty stretch of the Greek-Albanian border for a bare-knuckle fight, Jason Bourne (Matt
) casts back to a past he recalls only hazily. Meanwhile, his one-time CIA colleague and current
pal-on- the-go, Nicky Parsons (Julia Stiles) breaks into the file system of the US intelligence agency from a
remote bunker in Iceland. Her hacking attempt alerts CIA cyber operative Heather Lee (Alicia Vikander)
and so begins Jason Bourne, which sets its protagonists – all of them linked to CIA – on a high-voltage
cat-and- mouse game across Athens, Berlin, London and Vegas.

Jason Bourne (2016)After almost a decade on the down-low, spent as a street boxer who punches away erstwhile torments, Bourne emerges from his self-imposed exile in Eastern Europe to finally bridge the bleak gaps in his former career of a CIA assassin. Swinging back into a killer mode, Bourne brazenly confronts – and eventually outsmarts – CIA head Robert Dewey (Tommy Lee Jones) and his sniper-on- the-ground, simply known as Asset (Vincent Cassel).

Expected to top $50 million upon its debut, the film appears well poised onto the accolade-laden track of its Bourne predecessors (The Bourne Identity, The Bourne Supremacy, The Bourne Ultimatum). Much of that anticipation rests on the artistic actor-director rapport between Matt Damon and Paul Greengrass. Both of them return to the Bourne saga, after having skirted 2012’s The Bourne Legacy, to deliver two hours of an exhilarating manhunt, which wrecks shiny vehicles and reacherous alliances, alike. And yet, the flick touches on matters far larger than the raw vigor to triumph over a life-long foe.

Bracketed by two grand car chases, the plotline – fast and swift – lingers over such salient issues as privacy and security, CIA clandestine operations and histleblowing, father-son relations and one’s quest to find himself. Even though the dialog lacks in human-centered intensity, Barry Aykroyd’s
cinematography provokes in a distinct documentary style. Tight angles and jittery shots snap viewers right into the on-screen reality, making it hard for them to peel away from such intimate depictions of life-or- death moments.

That gripping aesthetic only enhances Jason Bourne’s peculiar duality of a fictional narrative and a real-life commentary, which is likely to set the film apart from its summer-season counterparts. A classic action-movie premise with a modern spin, relayed by a talented cast of both Hollywood veterans and rookies, the picture incites thrill, suspense and, undeniably, some thoughts. ~ Dima Vitanova

I volunteered because of a lie.

Nine years after Jason Bourne was last seen swimming away in New York’s East River, Nicky Parsons (former Treadstone logistics technician) contacts Bourne regarding the last piece of the conspiracy puzzle that has consumed Bourne’s life since 2002. Parsons reminds Bourne that “remembering everything doesn’t mean that he knows everything”. CIA Agent Heather Lee alerts CIA Director Robert Dewey and tracks the meeting using the CIA’s high tech surveillance equipment.

Meanwhile CIA Tech Specialist, Aaron Kalloor, attempts to withdraw his support of the new ‘Ironhand’ project due to a moral conflict that he is experiencing. While Kalloor appreciates the start-up funding of his billion dollar company, his views of global surveillance do not coincide with those of the Director’s. In order to manipulate the outcome of both situations, Director Dewey conceives a plan to handle both of them with the assistance of an Ironhand asset. Agent Lee intercepts the reception of Parson’s data to Bourne and sends teams out to capture him. She states that she would rather bring him in since the world is at war and they need the perfect weapon. However, Bourne retrieves enough info to make his next move. With Lee’s ambiguous motives, Bourne’s expertise in the cat and mouse chase gives him the upper hand in finding out the truth behind the lies.

You’re never going to find peace until you admit to yourself who you really are.

The fifth installment in the Bourne franchise proves that Matt Damon was born to be Jason Bourne in a role that has defined his career. He returns with director Paul Greengrass (The Bourne Supremacy and The Bourne Ultimatum) who is a former documentary journalist whose style becomes more dynamic with each film. Greengrass’s signature use of hand held cameras to create an aesthetic of realism returns after a brief hiatus in The Bourne Legacy which was directed by Tony Gilroy. While the novelty and the intensity of the first installment continues to ever so slightly diminish with each film, the story weaved by Paul Greengrass and Christopher Rouse (loosely based on Robert Ludlum’s novels) provides exquisite continuity and attention to detail without missing a beat.

The casting of Tommy Lee Jones as the antagonist was also sheer genius. His signature deadpan delivery and hard-edged persona drives home the angst that the iconic character of Jason Bourne has been struggling with since 2002. With a franchise that has earned approximately $1.2 billion in worldwide gross so far, I would not be surprised if a sixth installment emerges in the future. As a superfan of Matt Damon and the series, I’m certainly not ready for ‘this to all end today’. Hold on because this summer belongs to Bourne! Go see it! ~Movie Buffette

“I know who I am. I remember everything.”

Jason Bourne is an emotionally charged action-thriller by acclaimed director Paul Greengrass (The Bourne Legacy, The Bourne Ultimatum and Captain Phillips). I really enjoy films that are intellectually invigorating and Jason Bourne certainly meets that need. After a nine-year hiatus with Jeremy Renner filling in as an Agent Aaron Cross, Matt Damon returns to the iconic role that made him a global superstar in 2002 with The Bourne Identity.

I really enjoyed the chemistry Damon has with costar Julia Stiles who portrays former CIA operative Nicky Parsons. I would have liked to have seen their relationship progress. She has great screen presence with the protagonist. Academy Award winner Tommy Lee Jones (The Fugitive, Double Jeopardy) delivers another remarkable performance as CIA Director Dewey. However, I did not totally agree with the casting of Academy Award Winner Alicia Vikander (The Danish Girl, Burnt) as Agent Heather Lee. I loved her in The Man from U.N.C.L.E. She has so much talent and range, but this role was not the best fit for her.

Cinematographer Barry Ackroyd is known for his work on The Hurt Locker, Captain Phillips and most recently The Big Short. Although I enjoy hand-held camera work, there were times in the films where I felt downright dizzy. The action sequences were explosive and fantastic, but hard to follow. I wonder if the camera speed (frames per second) could have been increased to lessen the effect. The screenwriters created intrigue and suspense. Overall, an outstanding job on a sequel. I screened this alongside a couple of huge fans and Jason Bourne met their expectations. The audience response to the film was positive as noted by their applause.

The latest installment in the adventures of Jason Bourne provides a little more history behind the main character and leaves you guessing where he will show up next. ~A.S. MacLeod

Jason Bourne, you know who he is, and now so does he

  Jason Bourne is (as far as we know) the final installment to the Bourne Trilogy. Jason Bourne finally begins to remember who he was before he lost his memory, and what Treadstone has done to his life. This movie meets all the criteria of a good Bourne movie: fast paced scenes, variety of locations, secrets unveiled, killer fight scenes, and Bourne hiding right under the CIA’s nose.

  What makes a Bourne movie so good, like the one that just hit theaters today, is that the action and the fighting has a logic behind it. Matt Damon isn’t throwing punches at Vincent Cassel for no reason. They’ve both got an urge for vengeance against the other, and Paul Greengrass, director, did an amazing job at showing this vengeance in their moves.

  The setting changes a lot in this movie, as it does in any other Bourne movie. From Berlin, to Greece, to Las Vegas, the viewers are taken on this journey around the world. This allows for us to truly feel the intensity of what Bourne is going through. An example is the very first scene when Bourne and, returning character Nicky Parsons, played by Julia Stiles, are in Reykjavík, Iceland.

  This scene relates back to world problems today because we are placed in the middle of a riot against the government. While Bourne and Nicky are hiding behind rogue citizens, we see the chaos around them. This chaos not only heightens the tension between the two characters, but it also allows us to connect feelings from how we’ve reacted to riots that have occurred today. This connection back to news in our world was an amazing choice, and one of my favorite scenes.

  With a much anticipated movie like this one, super fans have built up the hype, and the teaser trailers have done nothing to calm the hype. But, in a sense, this movie felt a lot like the other three movies. Bourne was living his life calmly, he somehow gets involved with the CIA again, he’s fighting them, etc. Everyone loves a good action movie, but I wish there was something there, something that made this Jason Bourne different than Bourne: Supremacy or Bourne: Ultimatum. ~ Andrea Torres

  Jason Bourne releases in movie theaters July 29th and deserves 8 out of 10 stars.

Matt Damon as Jason Bourne
Tommy Lee Jones as CIA Director Robert Dewey
Alicia Vikander as CIA Agent Heather Lee
Vincent Cassel as Asset
Julia Stiles as Nicollette ‘Nicky’ Parsons
Riz Ahmed as Aaron Kalloor
Ato Essandoh as Craig Jeffers
Scott Shepherd as Director NI Edwin Russell
Bill Camp as Malcolm Smith
Gregg Henry as Richard Webb

About Dima Vitanova

One comment

  1. Raheem Williams

    That movie sucked