Jason Bourne (2016)

6:54 AM

You Know His Name
 Jason Bourne is directed by Paul Greengrass (Bourne Series, Captain Phillips) and stars Matt Damon (The Martian, Saving Private Ryan), Alicia Vikander (Ex Machina, The Danish Girl) and Tommy Lee Jones (No Country for Old Men, Men in Black). "The CIA's most dangerous former operative is drawn out of hiding to uncover more explosive truths about his past". The Bourne series has been consistently successful, until The Bourne Legacy in 2012....with Greengrass and Damon returning, is this a return to form for Bourne?

Jason Bourne is a 2016 release so its not surprising at all what I'm about to say - it was a disappointment. It wasn't just a disappointment though, this film is pretty bad which is a shame because the trailers made it look quite good. I will actually go as far as saying this isn't just one of my least favourite films of the summer but its one of the worst films I've seen all year. I had a mixed reaction to last year's Spectre as I thought it was pretty dull - in that review, I highlighted how I thought the US do Spy films better but Jason Bourne definitely does not support that argument - it is even duller than Spectre and I find it very hard to find any saving graces. Jason Bourne? More like Jason Death (of the franchise). 

The performances should at least be a positive for this film right? Wrong. I was really looking forward to seeing Matt Damon back in this role as the more I see of him as an actor, the more likeable he becomes - I am actually a fan of Damon. However, he has minimal lines and not much to do here - even the action sequences that should be impressive are ruined by choppy editing (more on that later).  I don't feel positively or negatively towards Damon's performance as he really didn't have to give much of a performance - I can't say he was bored like Craig in Spectre but I can't say he put his all into it like Cruise in Rogue Nation. Guess who gets more screen time than Jason Bourne himself? Alicia Vikander. Vikander was also ok but I think it was very clear that she was miscast. Her role seemed to be written for a much older actress and I really don't think this is a role Vikander should be playing. Her accent was also pretty uneven. Tommy Lee Jones was another wasted actor - he had nothing to do and didn't impress. All of the actors I have just mentioned are Oscar winners - this film could have done so much more with them but instead we get pretty dull performances where none of them can shine. I'll tell you who did shine though with an awful performance...Julia Stiles - she really didn't want to be in this film and you could tell. 

An action film like Jason Bourne could surely have some really strong action sequences right? Wrong. I actually think good action sequences were there but they were lost by some terrible editing. In every fight scene, no shot lasted longer than half a second before a jump cut - you couldn't tell what was going on and it made those sequences very uncomfortable to watch. This choppy editing didn't make the action feel faster and more exciting, you just couldn't make out what was going on. Some would say the action is intense and I would agree - this type of action is probably for an acquired taste. There isn't any memorable action moment though. 

Another visual choice that was terrible was that 33% of screen time was of computer screens and other types of screens - this was an awful creative choice! Who knew a film would include so much reading! I stopped paying attention once the close ups of screens became a pattern. Could they not think of a more creative way to give information to audiences? Lazy and tedious. 

There really wasn't much to the plot but ironically, Jason Bourne felt like a very complicated film. There was some glimmers of entertainment - the plot twists were cool and some scenes were actually pretty good but they were the minority. I also couldn't work out who the audience were supposed to be routing for? The film sets up with hardly any Jason Bourne so you don't feel on his side at all - Bourne definitely isn't someone I felt like I was backing, I was more on Heather Lee's side which I don't think was Greengrass' intention since the film is called Jason Bourne.

This probably will please Bourne fans and passive viewers who just want to take in some action. But for those who have got used to intellectual, entertaining and thrilling spy movies, Jason Bourne is a big let down. The performances are nothing to rave about - Damon is underused and Vikander is miscast. The creative choices are horrible - too many close ups of screens and the editing is way too fast during action sequences. Jason Bourne is the dullest action flick of the year and one of the most tedious films to sit through of 2016. Please no more. 


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