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Jason Bourne | Movie Review

When Robert Ludlum created Jason Bourne, he would have hardly envisioned the movie franchise it will inspire that will not only make piles of money but will also entertain and entice fans for decades. The first three films in the series – the trilogy comprising of Bourne Identity, Bourne Supremacy and Bourne Ultimatum – told the story of an ex-CIA operative on the quest to find out who he really is.

The first movie had all the “tried and tested” movie plots including amnesia – memory loss – which sparked the journey for this almost superhuman fighter whose body remembers what he can do, but his mind has forgotten why he does it.

When the trilogy ended, Bourne had found out more than he wanted to about his past and decided to ‘get out’ of this life of murder and mayhem. The fourth film “Bourne Legacy” in the series followed up with new characters including agents like Aaron Cross (played by Jeremy Renner) who are enhanced with genetic and chemical modifications to carry on the spying and assassinations.

Movie :
Jason Bourne
Producers : Frank Marshall, Paul Greengrass, Jeffrey M. Weiner, Matt Damon, Ben Smith, Gregory Goodman
Director :
Paul Greengrass
Written By : ,
Based On : The Bourne Series by
Production companies : Kennedy/Marshall, Perfect World Pictures, Captivate Entertainment, Pearl Street
Distributed by : Universal Pictures
Cinematography : Barry Ackroyd
Music : John Powell, David Buckley
Editor : Christopher Rouse
Released On : (USA)
Starring : Matt Damon (Jason Bourne), Tommy Lee Jones (Robert Dewey), Alicia Vikander (Heather Lee), Vincent Cassel (The Asset), Julia Stiles (Nicky Parsons), Ato Essandoh (Craig Jeffers), Riz Ahmed (Aaron Kalloor), Scott Shepherd (Edwin Russell), Bill Camp (Malcolm Smith), Vinzenz Kiefer (Christian Dassault), Gregg Henry (Richard Webb), Stephen Kunken (Baumen), and others…

The fifth and latest installment in the franchise was 2016 film called Jason Bourne. Bringing back the original team of Matt Damon and director Greengrass, this one picks up the story of Bourne twelve years after where we left him in Bourne Ultimatum.

The Plot:

Bourne now survives through living in the shadows around the world, engaging in street fights and keeping to himself. He has no interest in engaging in the world of espionage again. This changes, however, when Nicky Parsons hacks into CIA network and downloads details of all their clandestine operations including a new one called ‘Iron Hand’, which will take the spying and assassinations to an unprecedented ‘real-time’ level.

Nicky’s infiltration attempt rings the cybersecurity bells in CIA and Heather Lee – the head of cybersecurity – manages to plant a malware in the data Nicky has downloaded. CIA director Robert Dewy approves an operation for Heather to manage Bourne and minimise the damage.

Nicky and Bourne meet in Athens where public protests are going on. CIA team, including an operative, are here as well trying to capture and/or kill both of them. Nicky tries to convince Bourne to look at the operation files and take action. Bourne is reluctant, in spite of the connections Nicky mentions that includes his father Richard Webb. He runs out of a choice, however, when Nicky is killed by the CIA assassin.

Bourne visits hacktivist Dassault in Reykjavik to read the encrypted files Nicky left him. The malware in data generates an alert at CIA cybersecurity cell. Bourne manages to read through some of the files, but everything is deleted remotely by Heather. Heather alerts Bourne about imminent arrival of CIA team and Bourne escapes in time.

Bourne contacts Matthew Smith in London to find out about his father’s death and CIA surveillance on himself when he was considering joining Treadstone. Robert Dewey and Heather Lee sets up another operation – Heather wants to capture Bourne and Dewy wants to kill him.

Things don’t go as planned for anyone in London. Heather and Bourne see each other briefly when she tells him about upcoming tech convention in Las Vegas and enables him to attend it.

It is in Las Vegas, that the final action happens. Will Bourne find all answers about his past, ever? Does he really have anyone on his side?

Views and Reviews:

The film is built on the same line as the original Bourne Trilogy and still powered by the same passion that fuels Jason Bourne to keep fighting no matter where he is. He might be clueless about his own life and past motivations, but you know he’ll come out of all fights alive. There are brilliant action sequences, savage fights and brutal car chases to keep the film moving, although the background and plot starts to waver.

This film brings the cybersecurity and the debate about privacy vs security of free internet in the age of all-pervasive social media. The problem is this never really takes off in the film. There are a few scenes and some elusions to the connection between social media giant Deep Dream and CIA. But this has no real connection to Bourne who is still chasing the threads of his past.

The way CIA perceives Bourne to be a threat is also a bit thin and it is becoming apparent that it is the internal machinery of the bureaucracy, that resulted into some of the “so-called” exposures rather than Bourne going public or threatening them with it. For a while, it appears that Bourne may find some supporting voices that will consider his side of the tale and bring him back to work for the agency who trained him in the first place. But there is a twist at the end which shows that the ulterior motives remain that of self-preservation and promotion in the world he has left.

Performance wise, Matt Damon is a pro by now at this character and Alicia Vikander and Tommy Lee Jones support him by making good work of what is written for them. The rest of the characters including the director of national intelligence or the corporate world of Aaron Kallor have a few scenes, which they play as required. The cinematography is excellent, and the action won’t disappoint the fans of this franchise.

The film doesn’t make any references to “Bourne Legacy” though, but maybe Jason Bourne and Aaron Cross will team up in the next film. Who will they fight though? In spite of all the references to ‘external threats’, it has become more probable that their employer wants to kill them 🙂

As usual, the track ‘Extreme ways’ is there to signal the end and will remind you of the thrill of the chase as well as anticipation for what next….


An action packed, Adrenalin fueled film that will be enjoyed by all fans of the series…

ThinkerViews Rating:

Around 7.5 out of 10.

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