“I remember…I remember everything”, is how the new Jason Bourne movie opens and unfortunately for the audience, we remember too. With the franchise’s biggest players back in director Paul Greengrass and titular star Matt Damon, I was super excited to see Jason Bourne take to the silver screen for some thrilling spy heroics and while the film does not disappoint on that front it somewhat stumbles by retreading to closely to plot-lines from earlier films.
The whole film feels like bits and pieces of the previous trilogy cobbled together almost in an effort to soft reboot the franchise. There is the old guy at the top with his own agenda, this time played by Tommy lee Jones. We have the up and coming go-getter played by Alicia Vikander who just like before finds a soft spot for our troubled hero. While all the acting is top notch and engaging you won’t be able to shake the fact that it simply feels like we have been here before, that we have already seen these characters in some other form throughout the previous films.
The plot of the film once again involves digging into the gap filled memory of Bourne, this time to find out how his father is connected to Treadstone, the program responsible for creating Jason Bourne. Of course, this comes with all sorts of side plots and twists and turns often involving topical references to Snowden, cybersecurity, and online privacy. None of it really has any weight, this time around and plays off as more of an excuse to pop off some slick sounding dialogue or move on to the next action sequence.
There though the film shines if it perhaps goes a bit far into the “over the top” spectacle of summer cinema. The improvised weaponry, and brutal hand to hand combat the franchise is known for is once again on full display and stylish as ever. The car chases again are fast and furious and full of eye-popping moments though perhaps a bit ridiculous in stature.
I was somewhat disappointed that the decision was made not to include Aaron Cross. The character from the Bourne Legacy played by Jeremy Renner would have made an interesting addition and I would love to see the two characters team up or even square off against each other. It would have, in any case, mixed it up a bit and drove the plot away from the been there done this vibe.
All this is not to say that Jason Bourne was not an entertaining flick. Matt Damon is as bad ass as ever as Jason Bourne. Watching him always stay one step ahead of his rivals has always been part of the excitement and we are treated to that in full.
The film, however, is the very definition of more of the same. If you have never seen a Bourne film you will not be left disappointed with the more than competent spy thriller antics on display, those who have been following along from the beginning may be left wanting for something a bit different by the time “Extreme Ways” starts blasting over the credits.