Thursday, July 6, 2017

In short: Jason Bourne (2016)

Well, this is certainly an improvement over the fourth, Bourne-less, Bourne movie. However, it doesn’t reach the heights of the original trilogy of films (particularly not of the last two films). In part, this is certainly because this one is coasting on established virtues where the original films were a shot in the arm of an ailing film genre; others in blockbuster land have taken the best the original Bourne films have to offer and expanded on it, where this doesn’t really take anything much further.

Paul Greengrass’s film is still a more than decent big budget spy thriller, with dependable performances by Matt Damon, Tommy Lee Wallace and particularly Alicia Vikander, with more than a few fine action sequences and expertly created forward momentum.

I’m not particularly happy with the film’s somewhat limp ending – you don’t leave a plot element like “the biggest social networking platform is spying for the CIA” unresolved in the way the film does. This particular part might have to do with Jason Bourne’s general dithering about the rights and wrongs of the surveillance state that leaves the impression of a film that is too cowardly to tread on anyone’s toes politically, rather than of a film that’s actually trying to think through the ethics of something and not quite coming to a conclusion. It’s a very mainstream big budget film, after all, and political courage is something this part of the movie business generally lacks. I should probably be thankful it doesn’t go the all out flag waving route, but we do live in a world where films featuring a guy actually dressing up in said flag aren’t doing that either (perfectly keeping with what said character is actually about) – and are arguably more complex.

Anyway, while this wasn’t exactly the Bourne film I have dreamed of, and most certainly isn’t one the world strictly needed, it’s an entertaining enough film.

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