Jason Bourne

Directed By: Paul Greengrass

Starring: Matt Damon, Tommy Lee Jones, Alicia Vikander, Vincent Cassel, Julia Stiles, and Riz Ahmed

The 2016 summer blockbuster season has been littered with big budget disappointments, especially when it comes to reboots of dormant or long-running franchises.  Bryan Singer went up to bat and struck out with X-Men: Apocalypse, his latest installment in Fox's aging mutant franchise.  Roland Emmerich returned twenty years too late in Independence Day: Resurgence with all the stars from the original (save for Will Smith) and somehow none of its charms.  Alice Through the Looking Glass and Ice Age: Collision Course certainly fit the bill as well.  Ghostbusters and Finding Dory may be the exceptions to this trend, but it's a pretty clear trend nonetheless.  We have one more to add to the list with this weekend's Jason Bourne.  Paul Greengrass, the man behind The Bourne Supremacy and The Bourne Ultimatum, is back in the director's chair.  The fact that this fifth installment doesn't live up to its predecessors is a real disappointment.

After the events of The Bourne Ultimatum, former Treadstone operative Jason Bourne (Matt Damon) goes into hiding.  Wasting away in the fighting pits of Greece, he's doing anything but fighting against the corrupt system that created him so long ago.  Nicky Parsons (Julia Stiles), on the other hand, is still fighting the good fight.  Working with cybercriminal Christian Dassault (Vinzenz Kiefer), she hacks into the CIA's database from a laptop in Iceland and learns some interesting information about Bourne.  She also learns of the agency's newest black ops program known as Ironhand.  With CIA agent Heather Lee (Alicia Vikander) tracking her, Parsons makes her way to Greece to find Bourne.  Under the orders of CIA director Robert Dewey (Tommy Lee Jones), the Ironhand Asset (Vincent Cassel) is in pursuit of her on the ground.  Between Agent Lee and the Asset, Parsons brings a world of trouble with her when Parsons does actually catch up to Bourne.  From there, the rest is the usual game of cat-and-mouse.

The biggest problem with Jason Bourne is that it recycles the same old formula that defined the original trilogy.  There's nothing fresh or inventive from Paul Greengrass or his muse Matt Damon.  It's the same old movie some nine years later with nothing worthwhile or compelling to say.  With this in mind, the narrative is the same nauseating back-and-forth between Bourne and the immoral agency that created him.  The action is fast-paced and intense but lacking purpose.  The performances are bland and uninspired.  Yes, Jason Bourne sadly doesn't live up to the hype.  At the end of the movie, you're left wondering what the point of it all is.  It can easily be considered yet another sequel or reboot that bites the dust.

Jason Bourne
really has a macabre feel.  It has no energy.  It's not a darkly thrilling movie like its predecessors.  It's just a brooding mess.  Matt Damon's reprisal of his role of the film's titular character is anything but impressive.  Offering a consistently sour tone and no journey or growth whatsoever, it's a pretty aimless performance, even if Damon is fairly competent from an action standpoint.  Meanwhile, Greengrass is busy adding all of his typical stylistic flourishes.  This includes the gritty, grayish cinematography and bullet-laced sound mixing that help to foster a drab backdrop.  Combine this gloomy setting with Damon's lackluster performance and you get one truly underwhelming film.

Despite all the public brouhaha about not making another Bourne movie without one another, Paul Greengrass and Matt Damon apparently don't have any mojo left with regard to this franchise.  Jason Bourne is a spy movie devoid of purpose and entertainment value.  The latest installment in this storied franchise misses the mark.  Jason Bourne gets a 0.09% rating.  Have a few gin martinis with this one.