In the process of trying to find the truth behind Treadstone, Bourne barrels his way through people, cars, buildings, and basically every solid barrier in his path, producing some of the most kinetic and riveting action scenes of the summer. The Bourne franchise has always excelled at creating amazing action sequences that are impossible to look away from. Jason Bourne updated for the modern surveillance era with hackers, facial recognition software and encrypted file leaks, adding some spice to the standard spy thriller formula.
Despite the fresh visual update for modern times, the performances were quite mixed. Matt Damon owns the role of Bourne, and in this fourth installment perfectly captured Bourne’s exhaustion from years on the run and his distrust of authority. One of the worst performances in this movie was CIA Director Robert Dewey (Tommy Lee Jones). Tommy Lee Jones is a skilled actor, but in this movie he plays the extremely two dimensional “shady intelligence agency director with dark secrets” archetype and adds nothing to the role, with monotone delivery and an expressionless face.
Much like the mixed acting, my opinions on this movie are mixed as well. On one hand, the action is tactile and fluid and I could hardly look away from the screen. On the other, I left the theater feeling unsatisfied. I thought Jason Bourne would reveal more secrets about Bourne’s past, take the character on a cathartic and emotional journey, and bring the franchise to a satisfying ending. Unfortunately, by the time the credits rolled, I realized that the ending was frustratingly open ended, and I had really only learned one or two new things about Jason Bourne. I was frustrated because I felt like the character had hardly progressed throughout the movie, and I knew almost as little about him after the movie as I knew before. All that being said, Jason Bourne is not a bad movie. It’s actually a pretty great action movie. However, it’s really more of a franchise reboot or almost revamp rather than a conclusion, probably opening the door for more Bourne films in the future.