Image Credit SlashFilm.com From Left Matt Damon as the tile Character and Right Julia Stiles in “Jason Bourne”.
As if the forgone conclusion in Bourne Ultimatum (2007) wasn’t enough for Matt Damon’s Jason Bourne, he’ll once again reemerge into the crazy world he seemed pretty content leaving behind. Discovering more personal history about events leading up to that fateful day he signed up for Treadstone- the super secret blacks ops experiment run by the CIA he wish would cease to exist
If the CIA were handy at creating its “weapons” the need for creating experimental “Programs” with exorbitant codenames would cease to be a problem for this franchise. However, “iron hand” is the controversial government funded initiative that has Nicky Parsons (Julia Stiles) hacking the servers at Langley once again to “expose” the atrocity to the very unforgiving world. Bringing, Jason Bourne (Matt Damon) out of hiding and back onto most wanted lists. The conundrum for Parsons however, Bourne not only could care less, but would rather be bare-knuckle-brawling on the border between Albania and Tsamantas laying out the competition with one well landed punch after the other.
Academy Award Winner Alicia Vikander gives another excellent performance here as Heather Lee a Protégé of CIA Director Robert Dewey (Tommy Lee Jones). Dewey is war-torn and hands off, but vikander’s Lee sticks to her gut, as she is quick with a mouse and keyboard. Making a name for herself as she tracks Damon’s Bourne across the globe. Opening in Tsamantas and featuring locations like Italy, Germany,
Spain, and Reykjavik ultimately ending in Las Vegas. The problem here isn’t the screen time the character is given, rather the lack of character and a real task to accomplish. The same can be said for Vincent Cassel’s asset as he is thrust into the action after Bourne despite, the fact that two share a past that was never given credence before the events of this film. Cassel’s Asset is quick and certainly gives Bourne a run for his money, but much like Edgar Ramirez “Paz” in “ultimatum” the character feels more like a placeholder than formidable threat.
Veteran Actor Tommy Lee Jones’s Robert Dewey is a believable pencil pusher with a strong perceptive “seen it all before” attitude that makes decisions on whim or rather what his staff lets him believe, as someone must be willing to make decisions. It’s easy to understand why this role is essential to the film, but it appears rather glossed over as the character ultimately winds up serving the personal agenda of Heather Lee.
Riz Ahmed is wasted here as Aaron Kalloor the programmer of “Deep Dream”, a social networking site for hackers. As he shows up at a conference to meet with Robert Dewey about Parson’s hack, only to relay a diatribe on “privacy” and subsequently following it up with how he wants to help “authorities” bring down those involved with the incident to the media when he’s just as responsible. Lets not forget that Christian Dassault (Vinzens Kiefer) suggested going public with the records to Nicky in the first place. Perceiving the CIA as unjust for its “experimental Programs” and given Parson’s troubled past with Bourne. The only pay off this scene has is its social commentary on that of wiki-leaks creator Julian Assange going public years ago with similar information.
Jason Bourne is a highly entertaining film, but the suspense that carried the last three films in the franchise appears to be absent as writer/Director Paul Greengrass and Co-writer/editor Christopher Rouse give the film just enough screenplay for events to play out in a two hour time frame. Let alone build to a climax where past misgivings are actually retained instead of leading Bourne to believe that he’s on the path to full to retention.
However, this is easily the best-looking Bourne film since “Identity” as scenes are given graceful geography before the action explodes allowing editor Christopher Rouse to cut in and around a scene with fine precision. While not interrupting the flow of exposition and what little character development there is, time and space.
Granted, the conclusion in this film is already a forgone conclusion, Bourne gets brought back into the action, gets the bad guy, and like the film before last puts the CIA in its place once more and continues living life in the shadows. A character like Jason Bourne will never be able to stop running from the world he once knew.
Had Tony Gilroy been given a second chance his Aaron Cross would’ve been a better choice that allowed for further character exploitation and would’ve been much more interesting because frankly, we know Jason Bourne. It also would allow Jeremy Renner to pick up right where he left off with cross and could continue that excellent chemistry with Rachel Wiesz’s Dr. Marta Shearing and could come to a head with his own Experimental program “outcome”. Instead of playing with tried old characters we already know.