Bourne (Yet) Again

Michaela Korges, Cactus Contributor

Dear fellow movie goers, today I would like to pay homage to this summer’s action thriller simply titled Jason Bourne (I guess they ran out of words like “legacy” and “identity”). According to Box Office Mojo, this film alone made $156,189,695 at the box office, but can it live up the name that the Bourne franchise has created for itself? Furthermore, does it do well as a stand-alone film? This is one action geek’s answer to those questions (Warning: There will be spoilers here, but I will try to keep them light) so let’s start talking about the good, the Bourne, and the ugly bits of this movie.

I’ll tackle the ugly parts first. Starting in reverse order seems to be the logical thing to do. The first time this movie lets you down is in the first act when it gives you the most predictable death in the entire series. For a franchise built around a concept like spy amnesia, that’s pretty low. In this oh so critical scene, there is a riot and fire bombs that seem a little forced to me, but I’ll let that go because it does add to the mayhem. The second odd thing this movie does is give us a somewhat forgettable villain, who I think is supposed to be an anti-Bourne? He is redeemed by some despicable kills but I get the feeling that he is just an extension of the government (the real villain in this movie). Speaking of which, hello Tommy, when did you become a cartoon agent? *sigh* Maybe I’m taking these minor gripes too far. I’d better move on to what I am good at, drooling over action.

Alas, there is one last thing I must address before moving on to the good bits – the female issue. Yes, my lovelies, they have introduced female #394 into this series, and some are using her as a format for the statistic that women in the movie industry are consistently younger than their male counterparts.  This case is a special one however, because A) as of yet they are not a romantic couple so that’s good, and B) Matt Damon is the star of this series and you cannot make him younger (no matter how hard you try Hollywood).  The age gap between these two is too serious to let go on these merits alone. Whatever your side on this issue, I feel that it is just big enough to mention when talking about this movie. Alright, now I promise to move on to the good bits.

You may never hear me say this about any other addition to an old series that comes out this year so write this down. This movie actually does better when it sticks to its roots. Yes, all of the Bourne-style action that you know and want from this movie is there (for the most part). What I like about the Bourne series is that they spend more time developing the stakes than they do the character. If they didn’t you would almost find yourself rooting for the government attempting to bring in a rogue agent. The unique thing about the series is that you are just following the events of a man with no memory, no life, and they still manage to pull it off. That is the brilliance here, you would be an unattached observer if they didn’t show you just the right amount of behind the scenes work to let the action build. If you are want for an action movie, you’ll be happy. If you want to watch the best Bourne in the series, maybe you’ll like it, maybe you’ll just be glad Damon is back.