I’m going to be really honest with you all reading this: I don’t remember the first three movies very well, and I didn’t see the fourth one featuring Jeremy Renner and Rachel Weisz. So I was wondering if I had missed things and would I be able to keep up with the story? I figured it would be Matt Damon wanting to be free of the agency and doing whatever he had to do to accomplish that…like every other Bourne movie with Matt Damon. I don’t remember much plot, just mostly punches. Right? Did I get it right?
So admittedly this film did have some plot, actually way too much. The story begins with Jason Bourne living off the grid and beating the crap out of people in street fights, all while dealing with flashbacks. He has a lot of flashbacks. But you gotta imagine that if he’s going around just beating the shit out of people, someone is going to pick up on that. But apparently not. If I were Bourne, I would be digging a self-sustaining Hobbit hole in the middle of nowhere. In any case, Julia Stiles is still around and hacking the CIA to release documents a la Snowden style. This action of course puts a massive target on her back, as well as Bourne’s, and analyst Alicia Vikander is trying to make her presence known in the agency so obviously she wants to bring down Bourne. Or does she?
After evaluating a past psychological profile, she believes Bourne could be successfully reintegrated into the Company. Others disagree but they are willing to give her a shot to try…or are they? So with that base story line, let’s now add a revenge plot between Bourne and another operative that goes back decades. He has to do with a death in Bourne’s past, Bourne released documents that got the guy tortured. We get it, you guys can’t play nice and you’re both lethal.
But wait, there’s more! Let’s add a weak yet complicated plot thread about some tech junk and a guy that meets with the director and is clearly involved in something shady and doesn’t trust the director but is blackmailed into continuing his work but has a crisis of conscience and what will the agency do to protect themselves??? It’s just all too much. Too many plot lines. The revenge story I can get on board with because it ties to Bourne’s background but the tech angle is just too much.
Even with the decidedly over packed plots, the acting caliber is still pretty top notch for what this film was. Matt Damon obviously reprises his role as Jason Bourne and I will give him the credit of being able to stare at things intensely. Well done, Matty. Alicia Vikander is a fantastic actress and I have enjoyed watching her in other films, but her crappy fake American accent is too damn distracting to appreciate her acting skills. Tommy Lee Jones plays the agency director and I do so enjoy his work. He is very good at being stern and cranky. Fun story, when I was on vacation in London in 2014, Jones came into a pub where I was drinking and when we made eye contact he growled at me. My closest brush with famous, and he growled. But despite his prickly personal demeanor, the man can act for all its worth. And even though the tech story line was a meager yet convoluted mess, Riz Ahmed is another great actor. If you haven’t seen it, check out HBO’s The Night Of. As the main character, he is stunning. So there was an abundance of talents within the abundance of story arcs, and with a little trimming it could have been a fantastic film in my opinion. The pieces were there, they just needed different assembly or mixing or something. But really there is only one Bourne film worth watching…
Follow the plot if you dare when JASON BOURNE debuts Saturday, May 13 at 8:00pm ET on HBO.