Friday, July 29, 2016

Review: Jason Bourne (2016)



       Story:
       Jason Bourne continues the story of former CIA operative Jason Bourne (Matt Damon) who has come out of hiding to uncover even more hidden secrets from his past and crosses paths with CIA director Robert Dewey (Tommy Lee Jones), a younger operative named Heather Lee (Alicia Vikander), and a mysterious villain from Bourne's past (Vincent Cassel).

       Ups:
      One of the few positives I can come up with is Matt Damon's performance. Since he has a rather sparse amount of lines, this could've very easily been just a paycheck for him. But thankfully he still delivered as he always does and he is one actor I would never accuse of mailing in a performance.

      Another standout, to me, was Riz Ahmed who plays a young Zuckerberg-type CEO named Aaron Kalloor who becomes involved in a subplot about a special operation between his social media app and the CIA putting the country under surveillance. The subplot goes absolutely nowhere and Ahmed wasn’t given much to do but he still left an impression whenever he was on screen. He was also a standout as the moral center of Nightcrawler and I look forward to his future work that includes a movie called Rogue One: A Star Wars Story. 

        Downs:
       Just as a heads up, you may want to watch the first three films with Matt Damon before going to see this because there is a chance you will get completely lost. That's quite problematic because when you make a sequel, you do want to continue the ongoing storyline but you still want to make it so that people not familiar with the previous films won't be lost and the sequel won't seem too "inside baseball."

       Also, some of the supporting actors I felt were pretty underutilized. Alicia Vikander's character was not only underdeveloped but I thought her American accent was quite distracting. Vincent Cassel's character was too mysterious given that he has no backstory and depth and the only reason we hate him is simply because he's a bad guy. While Matt Damon's performance didn't feel like a paycheck one, Tommy Lee Jones almost seemed like he wanted to take the money and run.

       Consensus:
       Overall, Jason Bourne does feature a solid return from its leading actor but unfortunately, the film surrounding him is full of wasted talent and too much inside baseball. It does have some nice action scenes but if you take those out, you don't have much else.

Grade: C-