Some Hollywood characters are those that become eternal symbols of grandeur. They are popular, loved and incredibly reliable, which means they exhibit such a powerful force of attraction, allowing their fan base to be committed to any movie, any sequel, that will release under their name. One such powerful name from the Hollywood fraternity is that of ‘Jason Bourne’.
I, being one of the many die-hard Jason Bourne fans, having watched all the Bourne titles more than five times, was absolutely delighted when I learned that Mat Damon’s character will be returning to the silver screen with the release of ‘Jason Bourne’. It was a needed wave of fresh air, following the forgettable Bourne Legacy flick starring Jeremy Renner. I mean who creates a Bourne movie (with a Bourne title) sans Bourne?
However we all managed to come out of that nightmarish episode and with an all star cast, including the return of Tommy Lee Jones and Julia Stiller, things couldn’t look any better with the fourth instalment in focus. But yet again, Hollywood’s most sought after fictional character gets bitten by the bug of doom; even Bourne couldn’t save himself from the clutches of a weak storyline and a very weak execution. Nine years after the release of The Bourne Ultimatum, Jason Bourne hits theatres and unfortunately, undeniably and depressively, it is by far, the weakest of Damon’s Bourne films.
Point is Bourne films have never been super innovative with their plotting but that was compensated by the high rush of energy and intensity of action sequences. The joy that came watching Bourne stay one step ahead of the CIA’s “assets”, was incomparable and while we loyal followers can stay hooked onto watching that time and again, what keeps the spark lit is how the chase initiates. This time, after a nine-year hiatus, we expected fireworks as to how Bourne will be unveiled. Not only does it bring nothing new to the table for the franchise, but the film just feels like a failing science project of its former self. In the film, we again see Bourne on the run from CIA as he tries to uncover hidden truths about his past (*yawn*, the same plot is being stretched). When former CIA operative Nicky Parsons (Julia Stiles) hacks into agency databases to uncover evidence about its illegal assassination programs and on Bourne's recruitment, Bourne begins to understand who he truly is. And the audience goes on a lukewarm ride that forced us to think if Matt Damon deserved this sudden death to a role that made him one of the top-notch artists of the film industry. We’ve seen him run three times. We’ve seen him in combat three times. This time, we hoped for concrete answers and a little incentive to explore Bourne more. We didn’t get any of that. Time to let go of Bourne and remember his legacy from the first three movies only.