Being a huge fan of the last four, yes all four, movies I couldn’t believe it when I heard this was in the pipeline. Looking back on how the original film single handedly reshaped the Bond franchise, or how spy movies became more mysterious and gritty in the 21st century, all thanks to an agent who couldn’t remember his name, I was sure this long anticipated Bourne instalment would take things to a new level faster than Keanu Reeves could fuck with the matrix.
But like most movies you look forward to seeing these days it was a complete let down. What made the previous Bourne movies such superior flicks was their edgy realism, a factor this chapter completely sidestepped. From the very opening and right through this film you can’t help but think, ‘wow, that was lame, was that meant to be a fight scene, you know he was impressive in Behind the Candelabra – wonder if he’s going to return to acting anytime soon’.
The plot is terrible to begin with, it factors in a very topical issue on cyber security compromising personal freedom, but then fails to really do anything with it or make a meaningful statement. It fails to build on a central character, Aaron Kalloor, with any real depth which is probably the biggest let down in the movie. The character Aaron Kalloor could have evolved the espionage element of the entire series by demonstrating the level of intelligence government agencies now have at their disposal, and perhaps make further assertions on how this information is gathered, collated and processed.
Regardless the Aaron Kalloor fiasco was a mere sub plot to the main storyline of Bourne crying over premature orphanism not unlike ‘Skyfall’s whingefest, which further disheartened the now growing feeling that this Bourne film was nothing more than a late cash in on an epic franchise.
Further tiresome moments included Bourne once again getting help from inside the agency from the lead female character, a ridiculous clichéd ploy to equate youthful femininity with an innate sense of good moral judgement. What’s even more aggravating is how polarised everyone in the movie is, there is so little dynamic in the agency after four movies, you’re either in complete shit and the only way out of the dog house is by killing Jason Bourne, or your an intern who has access to more Treadstone e-mails than Hillary Clinton and you decide to commit treason by dropping Bourne some breadcrumbs to get him out of harm’s way.
Another burnout factor is that you’re not likely to survive longer than twenty minutes unless your name is actually Jason Bourne, all characters are dispensable one dimensional drones who look and act like their predecessor, again diluting the realism and significance of the role characters play in the movies, which damages the franchises ability to build a world fans can truly dive into.
Perhaps if you like ridiculously silly car chase scenes that surpass the boundaries of reason, but you’re too heartbroken to watch old Paul Walker movies; you might get some guilt free kicks by fast forwarding through most of this movie.
Or if by chance you’ve never seen a movie where the good guy chases the bad guy down the wrong side of the motorway, narrowly avoiding oncoming traffic at full speed, you might consider this a poor film with average road rage compilations and a bonus Moby track at the end.
However if you love the Bourne franchise and want to protect its reputation in a violent pub fight in New York City some night, don’t watch a single minute of this movie, or you could get it on DVD with some popcorn and stay out of New York for the rest of your life, but that’s a choice you’re going to have to make.