Movie Review: Jason Bourne forgets who he is


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Devin King | Reporter
July 29, 2016; 11 a.m.

As a massive “Bourne” fan, I cannot think of a movie more disappointing than “Jason Bourne.” Sure, as a standalone, it’s an alright B-grade spy movie, but it’s nowhere near its grounded predecessors in terms of quality. All together, it seems to forget what makes Jason Bourne, Jason Bourne.

If you haven’t heard or seen the “Bourne” movies, they were originally a spy thriller trilogy starring a highly skilled agent named Jason Bourne. Seeing them is critical in understanding “Jason Bourne,” and they’re amazing films in their own right. There’s also a fourth movie called “The Bourne Legacy,” but its plot holds no significance in this story.

Taking place at least a decade after “Bourne Ultimatum,” Jason Bourne (Matt Damon) has been living his life away from the CIA as a bare knuckle boxer in Greece. After an old acquaintance finds Bourne, he is dragged back into his old run-and-gun lifestyle, fighting deadly agents to find answers about his past.

Right off the bat, the film feels very “un-Bourne-like” with its character motivations. Bourne spent three years of his life in the original trilogy trying to escape the the wrath of the CIA, with his ultimate goal being a free man away from danger. With this in mind, it seems very strange that Bourne would throw away all his motivation from the previous films. The villains also feels out of place, as they are downright evil and perfectly happy with killing innocent people, which is something  they did not do in the other films unless they were forced to.

Character motivations aren’t the only out of place problem in “Jason Bourne.” The technology used in the film is unrealistic, and the grounded realism that went into scenes where Bourne had to try so hard to escape from harm’s way are nowhere to be found. There’s also an incredibly important character that is jarringly absent in the film with no explanation.

Luckily, this is where the problems of the film stop for the most part. There is still some stylistic action to be found with gritty fist fights, intense gun duals and speedy car chases. They don’t feel as genuine now that many important stables of the franchise are missing, but for what they are, they can be nice action pieces.

 As for everything else, including the cinematography, the music and the performances, they’re alright. For anyone that has seen a “Bourne” movie, they’ll know what to expect, but none of the aesthetics are truly noteworthy.

For all its shaky cam and gritty fight scenes, “Jason Bourne” feels like nothing that its title implies. For what it’s worth, it felt like a cheap rip-off, so anyone curious should just watch the trilogy, as those films are still fantastic.