60 Second Verdict: Jason Bourne - Hope 103.2

60 Second Verdict: Jason Bourne

Jason Bourne is back. Having been living “off the grid” for years, former CIA operative Jason Bourne (Matt Damon) is again tracked down by a former colleague with secrets to share.When Bourne learns new information about his father’s involvement in the dark past he has been trying to run from, the trained assassin turns his […]

By Ben McEachenFriday 5 Aug 2016The Big PictureMoviesReading Time: 3 minutes

Jason Bourne is back. Having been living “off the grid” for years, former CIA operative Jason Bourne (Matt Damon) is again tracked down by a former colleague with secrets to share.

When Bourne learns new information about his father’s involvement in the dark past he has been trying to run from, the trained assassin turns his sights upon CIA leadership – again. A CIA cyber-intelligence agent (Alicia Vikander) gets involved, as does CIA director Robert Dewey (Tommy Lee Jones) and the head of a global online powerhouse. As the body count and destruction rises, Bourne’s violent path of revenge threatens to bring him back into the organisation he says he wants out of.

RATED: Jason Bourne is rated M for violence and mature themes

AUDIENCE: Did you like the three Bourne movies, starring Matt Damon – but you weren’t a huge fan of The Bourne Legacy (2012), starring Jeremy Renner? Well, this Bourne outing is aimed at you, or anyone who enjoys contemporary spy/action movies.

WHAT’S GOOD: I enjoyed The Bourne Identity, Bourne Supremacy and Bourne Ultimatum, even though they are basically the same movie, over and over and over again. With Jason Bourne being a reunion for star Matt Damon and director Paul Greengrass (who made Supremacy and Ultimatum), I was happy even before the movie started. When it got underway, though, this Bourne film fan discovered the best things about it are the sorts of things the Bourne movies have always offered. The visuals are fast and gritty, the action is ample, and the plot raises deep issues of control, responsibility, consequence and truth.

WHAT’S NOT: Although Jason Bourne is loaded with the ammunition we expect of any movie in this super-spy franchise, this fifth instalment comes off as tired, repetitive and desperate for a reason to exist. Jason Bourne is definitely not a terrible action film, but it lacks the drive and energy of its predecessors. Even as they raise our pulse, the action sequences drag on as if they are filling up time. The cat-and-mouse framework of any Bourne movie is here pushed almost to breaking point, while Damon’s sturdy portrayal of an amnesiac assassin also struggles to make its mark. Even as real-world events and rich motivations bob up, Jason Bourne only chugs along as a one-dimensional blast of revenge storytelling.

SPIRITUALLY SPEAKING: Given what Jason Bourne did for a job, his latest big-screen outing doesn’t dig down too much into the morality of being assassin. While it does include the familiar Bourne topics of control, responsibility, consequence and truth, Jason Bourne doesn’t prioritise investigation of these. So, is Jason Bourne to be held accountable for his lethal actions, or is an innocent victim of murderous brainwashing? You’ll still be left without much of a strong answer on this, along with a sense of frustration about how potent notions of online “freedom” and public protection are also not explored. In the end, we’re left with considering all the story threads and what our reaction is to them – without much assistance or provocation by Jason Bourne itself.

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