July has been replete with sequels, more sequels, remakes, and reboots, all of which were unnecessary, lame, and/or mediocre. Now, we have the Bourne franchise making it’s fourth installment (sorry, I forgot the one with Jeremy Renner… what ever happened to that story arc anyway…? Ah well, not like it was very interesting).
Honestly, I was expecting this movie to follow suit; I mean Matt Damon is approaching fifty years old now, and it kind of shows. I felt like the Bourne trilogy covered all that needed to be covered, so as I was watching this one, I was searching for a reason as to why this sequel needed to exist in the first place.
To my dismay, there is no answer to be found in this movie.
This story is so derivative and uninspired. Does a movie that has all the Bourne elements but without any of the tension whatsoever sound interesting? No? Then don’t watch this film. Nothing new is explored or challenged.
So what’s the driving factor for Bourne now that he knows his past and now that he’s gained some sort of retribution for his dead wife? Well now he gets to figure out how his daddy was involved with the project…. sort of. But Bourne’s dad, to the best of my knowledge, was never brought up in the previous movies, so I do not understand why I’m supposed to care.
To Tommy Lee Jones’s credit, he does provide enough emotion for a few entertaining scenes, but for the vast majority of this movie, I felt like he was replacing Edward Norton replacing David Strathairn replacing Brian Cox replacing Chris Cooper. Nothing about the agency has changed. It’s like a revolving door of government jerk bags, so why am I supposed to care? Will anything of sheer value change if Jones’s character bites a bullet?
And yes, there’s another super soldier who fights Bourne (and this time, he has the added bonus of having personal beef with Jason Bourne. Yawn), and there’s yet another female agent that kinda maybe might feel compassion for Bourne’s predicaments. Rinse. Repeat.
They also have this side plot happening where this Indian Mark Zuckerberg made some sort of website that the government wants to use to spy on people, and every time they cut to his story, it just felt so forced and out of place.
There are a few scenes where Bourne’s kicking ass and taking names, but they’re so few and far between, and none of them are as intuitive or exciting as any of the fight scenes in the previous movies.
There’s also one or two epic car chases like the last installments, and one of them is just so ridiculously destructive that it nearly shatters any sort of suspension of disbelief. I vocally laughed during it because it just felt so ridiculous.
But the biggest detriment to this movie is that Jason Bourne is such a blank slate character. Now the previous films compensated for this fact by having some pretty clear and pressing motivations as to why Jason Bourne needed to do the things he did, but this newest installment provides no such motivation. I mean, I guess maybe finding out about his daddy is sort of important, but good Lord, did they ever fail to make it seem important.
In the end, it just feels like this movie got made because Matt Damon needs a new beach house.
And of course, this movie is set up for a potential sequel, so maybe Matt Damon can go buy another big place in a couple of years.
I’m so terribly sorry guys. As a big fan of the beginning trilogy, I really wanted to like this movie. As a man who has sat through so much garbage this year, I really REALLY wanted to like this movie. Unfortunately, there simply is nothing much to like about this film. Nothing is new. Nothing is exciting. It’s just all… there. And if I wanted something to be just there, I could sit at home and watch my paint dry for free, and I’m giving this movie a 4 out of 10.