Just when you thought it was over, or at least I did before Jason Bourne was released last year, Bourne is back and Matt Damon returns to play the title role. I mentioned this in my review of The Bourne Ultimatum that this character could seemingly go on forever, much like Bond. Although, I can’t really see anyone else playing Bourne. An attempt was made to continue the action with The Bourne Legacy storyline with Jeremy Renner in a Bourne-like character. That film had its merits but fell just under par from the Bourne trilogy. Jason Bourne had some action and kept the storyline open for another possible appearance by the Robert Ludlum character. But the question remains, should there be another appearance? Paul Greengrass returns to direct Jason Bourne and also co-wrote the script with Christopher Rouse for this installment.
While this film had all the necessary elements that made the original Bourne trilogy so explosively popular (the high-speed car chases, heart pounding fight scenes, imaginative situations) it failed to deliver the intriguing dialogue and character development previously seen in the other films. On most every mark, the film was as good as its predecessors, except for the aforementioned faux pas.
Previously mentioned, there seems to be many directions and storylines future installments could go. But it appears these stories have taken a detour from the source material. What made the original trilogy so special and popular, I believe, are the storylines, the characters, action, the use of camera shots and angles, the dialogue, and of course Damon’s performance. The elements pulled you in and had you fixated on Bourne’s outcome. You wanted to see what happened to him. I know I did.
But after three films with this character (this being the fourth), where do we go from here? The ending did seem to open it up for further adventures. But honestly, I am satisfied on where it is. I was satisfied after The Bourne Ultimatum. I don’t know if there is much more to say about this character and this series that hasn’t been said already. Matt Damon is Jason Bourne. But this film attempted to dive deeper in the Bourne saga and bring up other facets, secrets, and other agents into the mix in an attempt to expand Bourne’s story. Bringing Tommy Lee Jones, Alicia Vikander, and Vincent Cassel to the cast were nice additions and as with the other films, the characters were unique and interesting.
The film is set up, more or less, to stand on its own. It does well in this endeavor. Bourne is classified as the protagonist of the series, but not necessarily a hero. While there are “bad men” pitted against Bourne, there are not villains in the true story sense. They play as obstacles that our protagonist must maneuver around in order to stay alive and search for his own truth.
Some have said this is a great chapter in this series. That it builds upon what the previous films established. I see it differently. I do agree that is was a fine piece to be included in the franchise, but it fell slightly to its predecessors. I think what missed for me mostly with this film was that I achieved a satisfaction and a complete story with the original trilogy, so this film (while entertaining and interesting) did not do much more for me with Bourne’s story and character.