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‘Jason Bourne’ (review)

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Produced by Paul Greengrass, Matt Damon,
Frank Marshall, Jeffrey M. Weiner,
Ben Smith, Gregory Goodman
Written by Paul Greengrass, Christopher Rouse
Based on Characters by Robert Ludlum
Directed by Paul Greengrass
Starring Matt Damon, Tommy Lee Jones,
Alicia Vikander, Vincent Cassel, Julia Stiles

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

“Remembering everything doesn’t mean you know everything”

I think these words from the trailer and the new film, Jason Bourne, are more prophetic than they are meant to be…

Unlike the previous Bourne films, with the exception of the 2012, Bourne Legacy starring Jeremy Renner, they were all based on the three existing spy thriller novels of their respective names written by the late Robert Ludlum.

Paul Greengrass, director of The Bourne Supremacy and The Bourne Ultimatum is back at the helm of the latest installment of the kinetic and frantically shot Jason Bourne series aptly titled Jason Bourne, played by Matt Damon.

However, just because he directed two of the three Bourne films based on books, does not make him a good writer of the Bourne films. Greengrass along with his longtime editor, Christopher Rouse, have penned this film and I must say, they should have left the writing to the dead guy.

Full of cliché tropes like the magic Hollywood government super computer, and having the main character get a generic key from a dying friend who doesn’t tell the main character what it goes to, then having the next shot be the main character at a random bus station and opening the locker full of stuff he needs with said key, Greengrass and Rouse prove that just because you surround yourself with something doesn’t mean you actually understand how it is done.

The basic plot is this: Bourne is “off the grid” living peacefully in Europe minding his own business and occasionally underground fighting to vent off his pent up anger, much like Rambo at the beginning of Rambo III. Someone from his past does something to make it look like he has gone active again and “rogue”. This alerts the US Government who now thinks Bourne is digging up info on the past and is trying to take down the Agency that created him. Not knowing his whereabouts, he is flushed out of hiding only to find out there is something he didn’t know about his past. He must fight the government, avenge the death of his friend, gain the aide of the one person in the agency who believes him and finally take down the old dude running things who wants him dead before Bourne exposes a huge secret.

Sound familiar? THAT IS BECAUSE THAT IS THE PLOT OF ALL THE OTHER BOURNE FILMS.

Jason Bourne’s lack of original plot makes it understandable why for an action-thriller, quasi-spy film I was really bored. Even Damon looked tired. He was as good as expected, but man, did he look tired. How could he not? He was literally doing the same shit he did in all the past films, only this time with a weak ass script.

I think the 20 second shot in Ocean’s Thirteen, that spoofs Damon as Bourne, where Damon’s character in that film, Linus, is talking to Danny Ocean about what he’s found out about the security Computer Willy Banks has installed in his casino, was shot better and was more exciting than all 123 minutes of Jason Bourne.

I hate to say it, but the previously mentioned original story, Bourne Legacy, was not only a much better film than it rightfully deserved to be but it is definitely more entertaining than Jason Bourne.

Greengrass’s signature shaky cam and frantic shooting style coupled with the rapid, almost incomprehensible editing gets even more shaky then in the previous entries of the series; To the point of being nigh unwatchable. The car chases and fight sequences are so rapidly cut and the camera moves so much that you would think that the camera operator was the one actually getting the crap beat out of him or run over.

I really wanted to like this movie. I did. I love the other Bourne movies and kinda had hoped that Greengrass and crew would catch “lightening in a bottle” one more time.

Instead they give us spoon-fed plot devices, tired story ideas, banal dialogue, and such ridiculous things as a god damn encrypted thumb drive with the word “ENCRYPTED” printed on it in Helvetica Bold. Like professionally printed and stamped. Like it was made with that written on the side. Not hand written. E-N-C-R-Y-P-T-E-D. What the hell people?

I think Jason Bourne needs Jason Bourne to come and save him from himself.

Glad they keep using that Moby song though. I never get tired of that.

I hope they reboot this next year with Ben Affleck.

 

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