What makes a great film? It’s a simple formula. Really. Yet, it is as easy to achieve as catching lightning in a bottle. It boils down to the trifecta… great story, great talent, and a gifted director who can keep it all together. The Bourne films have that in spades, and Jason Bourne is no different.
The Bourne films tell a compelling, contiguous story. Each film brings that crisis to a climax, however, it’s never quite resolved lest Jason Bourne be netted. It’s all compelling, as we learn along with Bourne who he is, where he came from, the atrocities that he has committed, and how he has been manipulated by the black ops machine. Even the stopgap of The Bourne Legacy was still complimentary and inclusive of the Bourne oeuvre. Right, it wasn’t “Jason Bourne”. But, I actually liked that one more than many, because of the revelation of additional backstory. It was able to establish a cohesive division without detracting from the Bourne missions.
Certainly, the Bourne franchise has benefited from this in abundance. Matt Damon offered us much more than action with his initial appearance as the title character in The Bourne Identity. His nuanced portrayal of conflicted assassin is one of the reasons that this character is still around after 14 years. Obviously, there is genius behind casting these films that has done just as much for the franchise, spotlighting a bevy of government baddies set on Bourne’s demise. The credits of each and every Bourne film roll with the names of some of greatest actors of our time, character and otherwise. So many that I would hate to start any list, lest I slight any by leaving them out.
It’s no fun watching (or being in) an unfair fight. However, set two trained assassins against the other with weapons only MacGyver would envy, and it’s on! This isn’t James Bond with a fancy car that floats or gives off a smoke screen or an oil slick. These guys are fighting with a ball point pen and dental floss and a clothespin. In addition to the fight scenes, the chase scenes in the series seem to rival only each other. I do have one negative opinion about the car chases in Jason Bourne, and that is that there were too many jump cuts and shaky cam!! I realize that there has to be frenetic and intricate editing to keep these electrifying, but inducing nausea shouldn’t be an outcome of that process. Too much on this one!
Look at each of the Bourne films and you will see consistency and overlap in the players: from development to writing to production to acting to the use of “Extreme Ways by Moby” in the soundtrack. Not always the same, and some have fallen out over the years. But, the commitment to Bourne shows, and the films will hold up in perpetuity because of the investment that these people have made in fashioning this character and his journey.
I look forward to Jason Bourne schooling the next crew of Agency wannabes. We all want to know whether he will come in, or will forever remain, in the cold.
#CindySays 🌟🌟🌟🌟1/2 stars — Jason Bourne is close to perfect. We never forgot his name, and trust that we are oh so glad that he’s back and can find us again soon.