“I know who I am. I remember everything.”
Almost ten years have passed since Jason Bourne was last spotted onscreen. Ten years ago a fresher faced Bourne was still lost, struggling to find answers and get hold of his ever elusive memory. And then he, himself, disappeared. 2012’s The Bourne Legacy attempted to create a neo-Bourne, with Jermey Renner as the new super agent, but it fell flat. At last director and writer Paul Greengrass has taken the helm again and Jason Bourne returns in a long awaited 5th film. Bourne finally gets his memory back, along with a few more wrinkles, but it’s the same resourceful and clever guy with a never failing ability to outwit his pursuers and thrill audiences.
Jason Bourne finds Bourne sequestered in Greece. He reunites with CIA operative Nicky Parsons (Julia Stiles). While being hunted by the CIA, he begins to uncover secrets of his past involving his father and the infamous Treadstone that has been a constantly looming cloud in Bourne’s history. Alicia Vikander as head of Cyber Ops adds a prominent female figure that gives Jason Bourne a bit more relevance for a changed audience. But her performance, especially compared to her role in The Danish Girl, is mediocre. It must be said, however, that Damon is made to play his role. A decade later, he still executes every aspect of Bourne’s complex character perfectly and with just as much gusto.
To get the negative out of the way, action scenes that drag on much too long leaving behind a ridiculous amount of ruin and succeeding in nothing but loosing the audience and the story in the chaos are Jason Bourne’s biggest fault. The story contains many familiar elements; it sticks to the same formula of the last films and Bourne being hunted by the CIA is nothing new. It can’t quite meet the spark of originality that made the original Bourne films the classics they are, yet Jason Bourne still feels fresh. Whether Matt Damon will pull off a return as Jason again is unsure but there’s still more questions to be answered and Jason Bourne’s ending is obviously set up to allow, circumstances willing, another sequel.
Disappointing reviews and low ratings might create low expectations for Jason Bourne, setting it up to pleasantly surprise and thus giving it the illusion that it’s better than it actually is. But even so, for fans for the franchise or anyone looking for a good thrill, Jason Bourne is an honorable installment in the classic series. It is difficult to compete with the first three stellar films in the series and much of Jason Bourne feels familiar but with the Greengrass-Damon team in charge again, it’s clear that sticking to the familiar equation gives audiences what they want and, like an old friend, it’s good to have Bourne back.