In an era when the constant stream of Hollywood reboots and sequels often has audiences crying "Please make it stop!" the fifth installment in the Bourne franchise, Jason Bourne, seems to instead have critics conceding "Actually, that wasn't so bad." Check out what the following critics had to say before you pick up your tickets for this opening weekend.
If you haven't seen it yet, check out the trailer here:
The Best Of Bourne
Matt Damon returns to play the titular hero, who has spent over a decade out of commission but gets pulled back in by Nicky Parsons, who enlists his help for a whistleblowing, Snowden-style scheme. Unsurprisingly, after his absence from The Bourne Legacy, everyone seems in unanimous agreement that it's great to have Damon back in the game. Richard Trenholm of Cnet said:
"So it's familiar — but it's also really, really well done. In the hands of director Paul Greengrass, "Jason Bourne" feels not like a rehash of past glories but like a Greatest Hits arena tour. The hairline may be receding, but the hits are as solid as ever when dialled up to 11. It's the best of Bourne, only bigger."
Of course, great as Bourne may be, by his fourth film in the franchise, it must be starting to feel a little fatigued. Tim Robey of the Telegraph put it like this:
"Rarer are the moments, though, when Bourne feels fully in charge of his own narrative. When Damon looks intently in a mirror, it’s shocking, and intriguing, how much both the character and actor have aged. Caught in claws-out pursuit yet again, but subject to all the same plot mechanisms as before, he’s like an abused hamster in a cage, running towards an exit the series just won’t give him. Same cage, different geopolitics. He needs a new cage."
It's Deals With Contemporary Politics
Peter Debruge of Variety indicates that the modern elements work well for building the tension during the movie (with the exception of one particularly insensitive sequence that probably should have been scrapped in light of the recent tragedy in Nice, France):
In many ways, 'Jason Bourne' is the most unsettling movie in the series, seeing as it points to a vast conspiracy directed at the American people, and Greengrass’ style — rendered visceral via the marriage of Barry Ackroyd’s on-the-fly lensing, a tense techno score, and Rouse’s cutting-room trickery — lends itself nicely to an era in which shadow forces rely on such tools as satellite surveillance and facial-recognition software. In one scene reminiscent of Alex Gibney’s recent “Zero Days” documentary, Vikander’s Lee hacks the Reykjavik power grid. In another, she wipes a laptop by tapping into the nearest cell phone.
Tim Robey from the Telegraph points out, however, that while the movie might hop around across the world, at times it seems as though the lavish settings are anything but original, easily being subbed in or out for settings of the previous films:
When Bourne and Nicky flee across a riot-torn Athens, while Cassel clambers up rooftops to try and get a clear shot, it’s pure Tangier from 'The Bourne Ultimatum,' with Athens as Tangier, and local politics serving, recklessly, as nothing but backdrop, all molotov fizz and flash.
Alicia Vikander Could Handle Her Own Franchise
In The Wrap, Robert Abele refers to Vikander as playing her role with "bloodhound smarts," which is kind of an ambiguous thing to say, but is probably a compliment for an actress playing a double agent in an action film. Leah Greenblatt from EW called her character, Heather Lee, "intriguing and underused," while The Guardian's Peter Bradshaw claimed she was one of the best parts of the movie:
Basically, Bourne comes alive when in a tensely professional, platonic relationship with a woman – and that is Vikander’s Heather. There are the makings of a spark there. But it comes very late on – and perhaps Vikander may just suffer Julia Stiles’s fate while Matt Damon’s testosterone goes on for ever. Perhaps it really is time for Jason to hang up his Glock and give someone else a chance. Surely Alicia Vikander deserves a go at being an action heroine?
Could There Be More Bourne?
Maybe. Most reviewers agree that Jason Bourne is a decent movie, its only (major) crime being that it's the fifth in a franchise. While there's no denying it's exciting to have Damon and Greengrass back together, how much longer can this go on? Peter Debruge of Variety admits that while Jason Bourne does give us some closure, we never know what the future might bring:
Just as the initial Damon-driven trilogy wrapped up Bourne’s business but left us wanting more, this sequel offers closure even as it entices us with the possibility of his return.
Will you be watching Jason Bourne this weekend?