"I take orders from the Octoboss."

Jason Bourne

tn_jasonbourneJASON BOURNE opens with clips from the original Doug Liman/Paul Greengrass/Matt Damon BOURNE trilogy of 2002-2007. Those movies came to reinvent the spy thriller for a new age, even influencing the subsequent 007 movies and unfortunately inspiring an age of impressionistic action sequences. But the last time Damon played the character was almost a decade ago.

THE BOURNE ULTIMATUM doesn’t seem like very long ago to me, but think about how much has changed in our world. When it came out Obama was still a senator, Heath Ledger and Paul Walker were still alive, Margot Robbie was 17 years old, only serious fantasy nerds had ever heard of Game of Thrones, movies were projected from 35 mm prints, there was growing excitement about a comeback for 3D, and Vin Diesel had not yet returned to starring in the FAST AND FURIOUS series. Along with FASTs 4-7, action movies we’ve had in the interim include the entire IP MAN series, the entire EXPENDABLES series, THE RAID 1 and 2, JACK REACHER, the John Hyams UNIVERSAL SOLDIER movies, JOHN WICK and MAD MAX: FURY ROAD. So one could argue that the genre has changed.

And when JASON BOURNE cuts from blue-tinted, baby-faced everyman flashback Damon to the 2016 model – chiseled features, convincing grimace, gray hairs, a wider color palette – it’s a thrilling leap. He just looks so much cooler now. Having done, you know, whatever the stuff was in the other movies, Bourne is now living the way of the dragon, bare knuckle brawling for cash in Greece. That tells us he’ll probly never stop killing, because he’s clearly some kind of genius who could change his name and get all kinds of high paying jobs, and still he chooses to be a human cockfighter. I wish he lived in a Buddhist temple to complete the RAMBO III homage.

But if you thought Greengrass was gonna leave his shaky closeup action sequences in the Bush years where they belong, the opening scene has bad news for you. You may have seen the trailers use of the ol’ underground-fighter-walks-up-and-gets-a-one-punch-knockout (see similar scenes in HARD TIMES, DIGGSTOWN, ONG-BAK, LIONHEART, UNLEASHED, SNATCH, BLOOD AND BONE, NEVER BACK DOWN, WARRIOR, BARE KNUCKLES, etc.) In the trailer you see the opponent, you see the punch, you see him fall to the ground, all in one simple shot.

Surprisingly clear staging for Greengrass. That’s why it’s not in the movie. They chose to use a different, obstructed angle where you only see part of the opponent and don’t see him drop. Though the movie has a couple hand-to-hand fights, a motorcycle chase and a car chase, we seem to see more of the motion blur than we see of the exciting stuff.

mp_jasonbourneI noticed a good ways into the movie that Bourne had barely spoken. Even when he picks up a phone he doesn’t say “hello.” I thought maybe they were trying to do something different, turn him into some iconic Mad Max or spaghetti western type of badass. Nah. Then he starts talking more in the second half, like a normal movie.

Supposedly Greengrass and Damon weren’t willing to return to the series unless they had a really good reason why the story had to continue. Well, I don’t know about that, but it is a solid version of the same kind of thing. It turns out after three movies of recovering his memories there was still a little bit more secret government shit about his past for him to illegally uncover and sneak around fighting people about. I would rather the title JASON BOURNE meant it was like ROCKY BALBOA, a redefining look back at the story from an older perspective. It’s still a pretty good title though, because in the end he (hopefully) has accepted that this David Webb chump who he was born as is gone, and now he is the Jason Bourne of legend. (You know, like Richard Chamberlain’s Bourne learned at the end of his mini-series way back in 1988.)

This time around the Brian Cox type guy after him is CIA director Dewey (Tommy Lee Jones, ROLLING THUNDER). I forget how exactly it worked in the other ones, but Dewey is not some corrupt part of an agency, he is the actual official government straight up ordering murders and shit. He’s trying to stop Nicky (Julia Stiles, SAVE THE LAST DANCE) from leaking files about their secret programs through some douchey hoodie wearing hipper version of Julian Assange (Vinzenz Kiefer, SPEED RACER). She gives some new information to Bourne, which is kind of shitty because he was completely off the grid and now he is totally on the grid. And the grid is where you get spotted and they send an “asset” (Vincent Cassel, MESRINE) to kill you and he has a deep personal hatred of you if you are Jason Bourne. That’s why the grid sucks and is not recommended to be on.

This time the surveillance state is sort of the topic instead of just a cool thing for them to use to catch Bourne. The new angle is “Deep Dream,” which sounds right in line for the code name of a creepy black ops program, but turns out to be a Silicon Valley social media giant whose services Dewey wants to use for domestic spying. We see sneaker-wearing tech insiders worshipfully applaud the utopian talk of moguls (specifically one played by Riz Ahmed from NIGHTCRAWLER) whose creations are complicit in the erosion of privacy and freedom.

I wouldn’t know, but to me the hacking suspense sequences don’t seem as believable as in my preferred thriller franchise (I wish), BLACKHAT. Nicky breaks into some files and immediately there’s a war room of CIA computer experts clickety clacking away while their boss barks “SHUT IT DOWN!” and they update her on their moves.

And you know how it goes with all the security camera feeds: Wait, go back. There! Zoom in. Enhance that. That’s him!

Their boss is eager-to-earn-her-bones CIA cyber division head Heather Lee (Alicia Vikander, EX_MACHINA), who talks herself into the job of chasing Bourne. There are hints of other motives that make her part a little more interesting and suspenseful, and she looks so dainty I was proud of her for putting herself out there. This is a dangerous world, if she doesn’t watch it she could get beat up with a paperback book or a rolled magazine. She could stay behind a computer the whole time, but she chooses to get out of the van.

The conventional wisdom is that Greengrass popularized the closeup/handheld style that basically tore the heart out of American action movies for the past decade, but that he’s very careful about it and makes it easier to comprehend than the people who followed in his footsteps. I thought so with SUPREMACY but started to think he was pushing it in ULTIMATUM. This time he’s as messy as most of the other guys.

Dan Bradley is often given credit for this so-called shakycam style, since he was the second unit director for BOURNEs SUPREMACY and ULTIMATUM as well as GREEN ZONE and QUANTUM OF SOLACE. For this one they have a different guy, Simon Crane, who did the Bourne-ian SALT along with more clear action like the TOMB RAIDER movies, TERMINATOR 3 and MR. & MRS. SMITH. (Wait a minute – and MALEFICENT. And WORLD WAR Z. And TROY. And IN THE LAND OF BLOOD AND HONEY. This is the go-to guy for the Jolie Pitt family!) The fight coordinator is Roger Yuan, aka The Fiendish Dr. Wu in BLACK DYNAMITE. I bet he would’ve liked to have a little more choreography in the fight circuit portion of the movie, seeing as how he is a martial artist who appears in AMERICAN KICKBOXER 1, AMERICAN STREETFIGHTER, SHOOTFIGHTER: FIGHT TO THE DEATH, RING OF STEEL and DEATH MATCH. But you watch an action movie like this and you wouldn’t think the people making it would ever be interested in ones like that. They might even think they made up this idea that he would go off and become an underground fighter.

acr_jasonbourneBut there are a variety of Greengrassian action smears that seem like they would be pretty exciting. The best would probly be the chase in Vegas with a stolen SWAT truck knocking cars away like bowling pins. Also there’s a motorcycle. I noticed that my favorite shots were the dashcam and helicopter footage from the CIA’s surveillance. They sort of prove that the quasi-documentary style of these movies is bullshit, because real documentarians in the thick of it would be able to get way better shots. Still, they manage to get some excitement that way they do, where you can piece together enough of what’s happening to joy it on a story level if not on a visceral, I am watching good filmmaking that moves my soul like only movies do type of level.

At the climax a man who I figured out was probly Jason Bourne catches up with his rival in a sewer and it seems like a pretty good fight was going on in there. I was happy when you could tell that Bourne started using his fists because he’s been pro for a while now, he is gonna be pretty proud of it and show off.

If they ever make another one I would like to see it either be

a) The UNFORGIVEN of Bourne movies (I don’t even know what that means)


b) Desperately trying to assert itself as relevant to young viewers by totally changing the style to copy a more recent movie like JOHN WICK or something

That would be an ironic development for the series that youthified the spy thriller genre.

I liked JASON BOURNE better than other people I’ve talked to, and that’s a shame, because this wasn’t made for me. I was the one who was excited about Justin Lin directing a BOURNE LEGACY followup with Jeremy Renner. Poor guys spent a bunch of time working on it and then “oh hey, sorry fellas, Paul Greengrass has something important to say about the convergence of public technology and domestic spying, please return your keys on the way out.” The studio very responsibly made the movie that the public thought they wanted, but then it turned out the public didn’t actually give that much of a shit. So they should’ve said fuck the public, I’m gonna make Vern happy and make the fresher, more interesting movie.

But if freshness and interestingness don’t seem necessary to you for a new Bourne movie, you might, like me, find this pretty enjoyable in the same way that all the other ones were. They have a good range of exotic locations, introduced with nice helicopter establishing shots. You got your snowy Iceland, your dusty Greece, your neon Vegas. They have Bourne appearing threateningly in people’s apartments, sneaking around in his celebrity-going-out-to-get-groceries style baseball hat disguise outsmarting people, and even falling off a thing and swinging on a cable at one point. That was a new development I think.

If we needed another one of these Bourne movies, then good, because here one is.

This entry was posted on Monday, August 15th, 2016 at 12:55 pm and is filed under Action, Reviews, Thriller. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.

49 Responses to “Jason Bourne”

  1. Well, I guess I’m gonna skip this one altogether, simply because of its Shakyness. I really don’t need any more unwatchable action scenes in my life.

  2. I didn’t think this movie was bad. It was just more of the same. But I actually liked The Bourne Legacy better. (Poor Jeremy “Always-a-Bridesmaid-Never-a-Bride” Renner).

    Jason Bourne (the movie) did seem to lean into some of the cliches of the genre more than the earlier Bourne films. I actually laughed some when Bourne’s pulling info off of that computer hacker’s computer, and the hacker, in his best impression of the Star Wars Emperor, goes, “Join us, Bourne!” and then Bourne has to make it clear that he’s not on his side or whatever.

  3. I think that this and ‘Legacy’ were about on-par with each other overall, which is to say significantly worse than the original three. Having seen the most recent two in theaters, there were some tradeoffs. ‘Legacy’ had better camerawork/staging/etc., but a fairly routine, lackluster plot. Conversely, the story here in ‘Jason Bourne’ was quite interesting, but the action wasn’t as good as I remember ‘Supremacy’ and ‘Ultimatum’ being. Taken collectively, they are perfectly ‘meh.’ I’ll stick with the original trilogy from now on.

  4. Henry Swanson's my name

    August 15th, 2016 at 4:24 pm

    I’ve never felt so bored by a film that was so bombastic. It clobbers you over the head with shaky cam / quick editing / non-stop music – but it’s all just meaningless noise.

    Yet within all this deafening noise, nothing really happens. Bourne gets the upperhand on a government bureaucrat (surprise!) and some tech guy speaks out about privacy rights in the vaguest sense possible (in a side-plot that has NOTHING to do with Jason Bourne).

    The only way I’m watching another one is if it’s re-booted as a DTV sequel starring Scott Adkins where he stabs everyone in the face.

  5. I give this one an eh. I wish I liked it more, but it was just okay for me. I didn’t think the shaky cam was as bad here as it was in the 2nd one, though. Maybe I’ve become inured to it all. I did purposefully go and see it on a smaller screen, when my friend suggested waiting for it to come to the Cinerama. I didn’t want to risk my head exploding.

    One other thing I was happy about was that it wasn’t as much of the situation room, techno-jargon as the last one (LEGACY). When it started out with them all in there tracking Nikki I started to worry, but then that was it. Whew.

    **SPOILERS from here on out** Either I was confused, or they left stuff hanging with Heather Lee. The first point was when she first put forth the idea that Bourne was involved. Tommy Lee Jones’ character said something to her like, “don’t push your own agenda here.” I thought he was referring to her wanting to find Bourne specifically, like he was her pet project and she’s been jonesing to have a go at finding him. I thought this might lead to something personal in her past. But nothing came of it. Was he referring to her desire to climb the ladder?

    The second time this happened was when she met with the tech genius and it came up they went to school together. There seemed to be some moments there between them that I thought could lead to something more about their past.

    It all lead up to it being kind of a let down that her only motivation turned out to be wanting to climb the ladder and get more power. I wish there had been something more for her there. Or that it had been handled differently. There’s nothing wrong if they wanted to make her be ambitious and wanting success, but it didn’t work for me the way they did it. Especially when it ended with her willing to sell out Bourne for her own success. Or was she? That was another confusion – was she just telling the guy what he wanted to hear, or would she really have Jason killed? Maybe I need a second viewing.

  6. Glad to see Vern popping up on the grid to review this one.

    I was prepared to watch this one second week in the theaters with some friends but then ended up not being able to make it out that night and have since decided I might just sit it out til the rental.

    I’ve followed the coverage of this here and there over the years. As Vern points out, the original narrative was that Damon wasn’t coming back unless Greengrass was coming back, and Greengrass wasn’t coming back unless he had a new story to tell. In some of other stories and even interviews with Damon a different story emerges: 1) it did freak him out a bit when they went ahead and made a Bourne 4 without him; 2) he wanted to come back to a tried-and-true crowd-pleasing, money-making franchise.

    These two narratives are not necessarily incompatible, but my sense is that they ultimately ended up coming back for the latter reason of more ego or desperation than because they had a solid premise to justify it. Also, there are some interviews where Damon was critical of Tony Gilroy’s Bourne 3 script, but I have to think Gilroy’s absence had a negative effect on this one.

    It’s too bad. I’m a big fan of the original trilogy and have warmed to Legacy on a second viewing. Amidst all the angst about incoherent, big-budget, by-committee cinematic universes and franchises, a Damon-Greengrass Bourne was supposed to be a major event that would only occur when or if there was a ripping good story to tell.

    I’ll watch this one sooner or later, I’m sure. I hope they do something more inspired with the inevitable next one.

  7. I don’t think it’s that cynical, Skani. I just saw an interview with Damon where he said the number one thing fans say to him upon meeting was to ask him when he was going to do another Bourne movie. I can see where he had a good time making the movies, likes playing the character and sees how much the fans are still gungho for it, so he thinks, “what the hell.”

  8. Maggie, I don’t think that’s incompatible with what I said. In an interview I found on Collider, Damon said:

    “At a certain point, I said to Paul, ‘People really want to see this movie, and that’s not something to turn our noses up at…Having made movies that didn’t find an audience, I didn’t want to thumb our nose at this opportunity.”

    I am not going to dig up the interview where he admist that he kind of freaked out when it set in that they were doing a Bourne 4 without him, but it’s out there.

    I was being a bit loose with the language when I said “ego or desperation.” Clearly, Damon isn’t desperate in the sense of hurting for cash or anything, and I don’t think he has this massive ego, I just mean ego in the same sense that we all can have bruised egos or want to do something that audiences will affirm and respond to. But I do think when you’ve had a string of flops (he was filming this when Martian was first coming out, I believe), and you’re hitting middle age, and you’ve got people asking you for more Bourne, you start to think, “Maybe we should do another one of these after all.” And I don’t begrudge him that: I’d rather have this movie exist than not have it exist.

    My only point is that I’m not convinced from the reviews that they cracked the nut on the story. And when you demur for years on the grounds that you won’t do it unless and until you have a great story to tell, then the burden is on you to come back with a great story.

  9. I think sometimes actors and directors simply change their minds, and it usually only takes finding an interesting enough hook (and not necessarily the greatest script ever) to lure them back for another round. In the case of Greengrass, it’s easy to see how the modern spin on the privacy vs. security debate would’ve attracted him, as well as the whole concept of Bourne struggling with his past loyalty to a corrupt system.

    But I’m a little surprised it took Damon so long to get there, as the Jason Bourne at the end of Ultimatum was potentially the most interesting version of the entire trilogy. He was David Webb who became Jason Bourne but lost his memory and turned into John Doe. And then at the end of Ultimatum, he got it all back. So he now had the humanity of Doe, the ruthlessness of Bourne, and the patriotism of Webb. That’s a far more layered and complex character than anything we’ve ever gotten from Bond or Ethan Hunt and I always assumed Damon would be eager to tackle it in a sequel. The new film does acknowledge it, but I almost wish they had called it THE BOURNE TRIUMVIRATE or something and really explored the idea a lot further.

    Because ultimately, that’s all this installment really is: A way to reconcile those conflicting identities of Bourne enough so that he can return to the fold and be sent on another mission. That’s where the studio originally wanted a 4th movie to go and it’s where I assume most audiences think the series should logically go. The public appears to be open to the idea of more Jason Bourne adventures- they’d just like to see him battling someone other than another disposable bureaucrat.

  10. That’s amazing you find Supremacy the more comprehensible one because it’s the one I can’t make heads or tails of visually. My eyes must be distracted by other things in the editing. It did literally make a little girl vomit after the car chase in the screening I saw. I was there. That is true.

    Anyway, Greengrass ain’t gonna change. I’m grateful there are plenty of directors making action movies with elegant visual style, as Vern points out, so the genre is actually quite healthy.

  11. I think a lot of critics have skirted around the matter that the previous Greengrass BOURNEs came from a very specific frown faced post-9/11 time in the action genre and for many genre fans, and haven’t necessarily aged that well. Mind you, I’m not much of a CASINO ROYALE fan either, so maybe you shouldn’t listen to me.

    Also, Jackson actually died two years after ULTIMATUM. I wonder what he thought of it?

  12. “THE BOURNE ULTIMATUM doesn’t seem like very long ago to me”

    It’s the same deal with me, seeing THE BOURNE ULTIMATUM as well as other 2007 movies like SPIDER MAN 3, the first TRANSFORMERS (the only one I’ve seen I’d like to make clear) and the NATIONAL TREASURE sequel still feels so recent to me, as just the year 2007 in general, a year I remember well enough that it feels like a while, but not close to ten years, which it is.

    I never could have imagined that a decade could go by so quickly.

  13. Maggie – It wasn’t made explicit in the film, but I took the warning from Tommy Lee Jones to Heather Lee to not push her “agenda” to mean don’t step on his toes. He doesn’t want her to overstep her bounds and, as you said, climb the corporate ladder, which she does latter by suggesting to the higher up that they bring Bourne in instead of eliminating him. At least that’s how I interpreted that whole exchange.

    I actually thought the government intrigue was the more interesting part of this movie, especially since we’ve seen Bourne escaping from shadowy government agencies for three movies now. To me, Heather Lee was kind of an Adolf Eichmann character, making her way to the top of a government bureaucracy without regard to the moral implications of her job.

    Also, I interpreted the acknowledgement that Heather Lee and the tech CEO knew each other from Stanford (or whatever Ivy League school it was) to be more of a political point, showing how people in power are filtered through these particular institution. It’s kind of like how people complain that the vast majority of today’s Supreme Court come from Harvard Law School.

    I could see why Greengrass and Damon were interested in returning to this world and trying to acknowledge some of the events of the past nine years. They mention Edward Snowden twice in the film. Then they touch on collusion between tech and government agencies, which I took as a reference to how in years past the government waived large government contracts in front of telecommunication companies in exchange for the ability to spy on their costumers. And finally there was a major action scene during a protest in Greece, which acknowledged how transnational organizations like the EU have instituted austerity on countries without regard to how it affects the citizens in those countries. But I’m not sure if we needed a pretty basic Bourne story in order to reference recent current events.

  14. Thanks for the correction, Pacman. I’m getting my years mixed up. That didn’t seem right even when I wrote it.

  15. No worries, you’re quite welcome.

    I will say that 2007 *does* seem like a long time ago to me. And in many ways I feel that’s a good thing, especially when it comes to movies. As much as I’m not the biggest Marvel fan, do you think everyone would everyone be popping out “loved it, it’s not supposed to be Shakespeare and there are explosions and Megan Fox is hot” if TRANSFORMERS came out today? I don’t think so.

  16. Perhaps Greengrass really did feel he had another story to tell with this much passage of time and post-Snowden and so forth, and perhaps I’m just being cynical or something as to their motives. And the other thing I freely admit is that I haven’t seen the film, so maybe I’ll say it’s the Bourne to end all Bourne’s.

    Nevertheless, I fail to see how post-Snowden and social media and whatever actually add up to a novel Jason Bourne-relevant premise. What’s more, for a 9/11-era film series, the Bourne films don’t really have a thing to do say about “the war on terror” or Iraq or Afghanistan or Guantanamo. In overall feel, they’re actually very Cold War, focusing heavily on European nation states, spycraft, and the like. So, I fail to see how there is any great precedent for the series needing to hook into “trending topics” in general. A Bourne story stands or falls not on what exciting thing is happening in the world at large but on our interest in Jason Bourne doing Jason Bourne shit and having a good reason for doing so.

    So, I would stand by my general point, notwithstanding the fact that Greengrass and/or Damon may have truly believed that they had a really good new story on their hands. The reviewer consensus seems pretty clear that it’s a pretty by-the-numbers Bourne entry that lacks a truly compelling premise for bringing Bourne back and instead must retcon his backstory to engineer a new “mystery.” I’ll still watch it, but my basic point stands: When you tell people you’re holding out until you’ve got a good new story to tell, and when you go ahead an hold out like that for almost 10 years, go ahead and have a good new story to tell when you come back.

  17. Also, Pacman (or others), I’m curious what parts of the original Bourne series haven’t aged well for people. I’ve just re-watched 1-2 and 4 and am halfway through 3, and they all hold up really well for me. That’s the thing. I very much want to be excited for this movie.

  18. I find the completely humourless/style-less approach, and Bourne himself as a blank slate with no real personality unappealing, which I personally think of being tied to a dogmatic “it’s better because it’s more realistic!” attitude which I associate with the late 00s. Perhaps I’m being disingenuous because I was pretty tired of it by the time ULTIMATUM came out. I did like IDENTITY and thought SUPREMACY was passable.

  19. Bourne was like The Matrix for me – I loved the first one and hated everything else. In Bourne’s case, though, what spoils the sequels for me is something nobody ever seems to mention: The character _is_ a humourless blank slate, like Pacman says, but what humanized him at first was his relationship with Marie. That’s what gave Identity its heart and crossover appeal … and then they kill her off. And all you’re left with is the “more realistic” part, which was electric when you had Marie as the point-of-view character, horrified by his apartment fight, etc. – but “more realistic” on its own turns out not to be a movie I really want to watch. (Greengrass taking over as director didn’t exactly help. That, and the hair-dyeing scene in the first one was sexy as hell.)

  20. I remember being pissed when they immediately killed off Marie at the beginning of the second film. After that I wasn’t interested in Bourne as a character. The following films were kind of like potato chips: empty calories. I remember enjoying them at the time, but if I’m being honest I mostly get part two and three mixed up. Also, these films don’t really serve their female characters well.

  21. @ Skani

    In terms of actual political commentary, Greengrass (wisely) kept most of that limited to subtext. For example, the whole premise of Supremacy is that a government bureaucrat is attempting to create a fall guy in order to cover his corruption. (A theme Greengrass would later explore in Green Zone, albeit in a much more heavy-handed manner.)

    I understand what you’re saying about actors or directors holding out for a great script, I’m just not sure that’s what Damon or Greengrass did here. They always seemed pretty candid about the fact that the story they wanted to tell had finished and it would require an interesting new angle in order for them to return. In hindsight, Damon was even oddly prescient about this 5th installment while doing interviews for Ultimatum:

    “I love the character, and if Paul Greengrass calls me in ten years and says, ‘Now we can do it, because it’s been ten years and I have a way to bring him back,’ then there’s a world in which I can go, ‘Yeah, absolutely.’ We could get the band back together if there was a great idea behind it, but in terms of now and this story, that part – the story’s been told, if we came out with a fourth one, suddenly I got bonked on the head, you guys would be like, ‘Are you kidding me?’”

    Now it’s true that they may not have managed to return with the best script of the franchise, but it’s easy to see why the overall concept attracted them. Between Snowden, social media, and austerity riots, there’s a lot of new angles here that fit the themes Greengrass was exploring in the previous entries. I suspect their real misstep was in trying to adhere too closely to the previously established formula and assuming that’s what audiences would want to see. I personally think they should have taken the next logical step and had Bourne’s focus directed at something other than the US government (again).

  22. Great comments, all. Good discussion here :)

    >>>”Now it’s true that they may not have managed to return with the best script of the franchise, but it’s easy to see why the overall concept attracted them. Between Snowden, social media, and austerity riots, there’s a lot of new angles here that fit the themes Greengrass was exploring in the previous entries.”

    Right, but at what point in any of the previous Bourne movies did those plots connect to timely events going on in the broader real world? In what way did the premise of Bourne relate to timely geopolitical stuff. It’s a cold war-era novel that still feels cold war-oriented (nation states vs. subnational political actor groups). The only instance I can think of where a Bourne movie readily draws on a “trending” topic is, ironically, the inclusion of drones in Legacy.

  23. I will accept the premise that those societal/geopolitical developments may have led Greengrass to think there is a unique new story to tell, I just don’t see anything in the prior series to suggest that it is necessary or even wise that the plot of a Bourne movie be grounded in some larger trending geopolitical security/technology topic or that this would be indicative that there is a new Bourne story to tell. A good Bourne story has far more to do with interesting angles on the Bourne character or his plight, and these need not (and perhaps should not) have any particular connection to a broader societal or geopolitical trending topic. As long as there are intelligence agencies that can be plausibly thought of as doing cool and/or sinister clandestine stuff, that is really just the backdrop, and the backdrop itself doesn’t need to change a whole lot, I would submit.

  24. I have noted elsewhere (I think in the Bourne Legacy thread) that he is a humorless blank slate. In the original series, at least, I think this works pretty well. The focus is not on the character or his relationships as such, but on his ability to survive and improvise his way through a gauntlet of known or ad hoc obstacles and foes. The films succeed on non-stop action, tension, momentum. There aren’t a lot of long brooding silences or emotional introspection and hand-wringing. He’s a man on a mission with no time to ponder the deeper existential issues, because he’s got people trying to shoot or arrest him or block his access to information. I can understand how that might wear thin for a person, but I guess for me, his cypher-like, blank slate quality are part of the mystique. I’m in it more for the cat-mouse tension, suspense, and action beats than anything else.

    Having said that, a potentially interesting angle for this one would have been if Bourne was like 5 years into being married and starting a family or something, and then something happened that gets him back into the mix. That would be an actual interesting character-driven new wrinkle on Bourne, since now he’s got more to lose and maybe more of a developed mature personality, vs. essentially being an incredibly effective, one-track goal-directed robot. I’m not honestly sure it would work better than a by-the-numbers Bourne film that has him essentially in a state of arrested psychological development, but it might have been worth trying.

  25. Sorry, one more thing:

    Jake, I totally agree with what you say here:

    “And then at the end of Ultimatum, he got it all back. So he now had the humanity of Doe, the ruthlessness of Bourne, and the patriotism of Webb. That’s a far more layered and complex character than anything we’ve ever gotten from Bond or Ethan Hunt and I always assumed Damon would be eager to tackle it in a sequel.”

    I think there really was a lot of potential along these lines to give us a more complex and human Bourne, so that when they have a good enough reason to bring him back 10 years later, he’s a different character, albeit still a resourceful badass. On the other hand, I think having Bourne still be pretty much a loner living on the margins of society (which seems like what they did) is a viable choice, but it’s not a particularly interesting on. From a character development standpoint, he might as well have been in a coma for 10 years.

    Also, on the Ethan Hunt front. Just this past weekend I watched Mission Impossible 5 (Jeremy Renner, Bourne Legacy!) for the first time and I was struck by what a non-entity the Ethan Hunt character is. He’s essentially Tom Cruise’s public persona as movie character. He’s all energy and ear-to-ear grin and jumping off or onto shit. As with Bourne, there is no pretense that he has any inner life. His emotional repertoire consists of: intensely focused, righteously angry, smiley. I thought MI:5 worked fine as a throwaway action film, but I was struck with the fact that he’s played this character in five films over 20 years, and I have zero attachment or even particular interest in the character. Who is this character? And he has far less iconic appeal than say a James Bond. He’s like generic short American James Bond. The only thing close to an attempt at humanizing him was the marriage to that Michelle Monaghan (Bourne 2 bit role!) in MI:3, but then in MI:4 they just perfunctorily wiped her character and the marriage out of Ethan’s life, restoring his status as perpetual bachelor who has no life outside of his mission.

    Contrast that with Cruise as Jack Reacher. He oozes personality and cool. Instantly classic, memorable badass character. Ethan Hunt — total blank slate for me.

  26. I feel like the Liman film gets unfairly, retroactively assessed through the Greengrass lens. I love the way the action is filmed in that movie.

  27. Skani, I think that’s why I like the Mission: Impossible films. They get better the more they just make it the zany adventures of Tom Cruise.

  28. wall-o-text….!

    renfield –
    Agree. I honetly don’t mind the shakycam at all, and I think Greengrass is a good filmmaker who knows how to ratchet up tension. He’s pretty pedal-to-the-metal, and I think that served Bourne 2 and 3 quite well. On the other hand, I though Liman’s film worked very well and does the most to humanize Bourne. I love the showdown between him and Clive Owen. It’s so badass and yet it’s arty and beautiful and heartbreaking. Plus, I just dig Franka Potente in that role. Interestingly, Greengrass’s approach to the films is well-summarized by a Bourne line from part 1, concerning Marie (Potente): “She’s dead…She was slowing me down.” By killing of Potente, Greengrass liberated Bourne from the need to carry her along, which made him much more mobile and unencumbered in beating people’s asses. Imagine a world where somehow everything about Bourne 2 and 3 was the same, except Marie was never killed and she was kind of tagging along with Bourne everywhere he went. Bourne necessarily would have been far less nimble. The character lost some of his humanity and his attachment to a loved one in order to resume being an on-the-run bad-ass. We got unfettered badass, but we lost some of the humanity. And from what I’m hearing about Part 5, we still haven’t gotten it back.

    Interestingly, in Legacy, the bring back the Bourne-Marie dynamic in having Aaron Cross and Rachel Weisz together in the Philippines. That restored a bit of that Bourne-Marie energy, which may be derivative, but I dug it.

    Sternshein –
    Yeah, I wouldn’t disagree. That’s actually a pretty great way to put it. The films are kind of junk food for me, and I think there way more tongue-in-cheek and cartoony than, say, a Bourne film. I just don’t think they have the re-watch potential for me that a Bourne would, because even though both Bourne and Hunt are in some ways blank slates (Hunt being a far more smiley blank slate), there is a pathos and a mystery to Bourne that suggests he has layers; whereas with Cruise/Hunt, one gets a what-you-see-is-what-you-get / lights-are-on-but-nobody-is-home vibe as far as there being a real human being in there vs. a photogenic male model.

    Tom Cruise is a fascinating cultural figure, because there are so many conflicting elements about him, and many of those conflicting elements are a necessary but paradoxical part of him. He subscribes to what I would consider a pretty weird belief system, and my suspicion is that belief system and the Church’s valuing of him specifically have probably tended to make him a pretty rigid and controlling person with some very strange views. That was all brought to the surface in that media meltdown of a few years back. On the other hand, I don’t down that he has harnessed the Scientology stuff as a kind of self-help cognitive-behavioral therapy that has allowed him to harness the will, vision, and confidence to do some pretty crazy and amazing things (as far as the production empire and doing these gnarly stunts, etc.). Anyway, there’s a kind of Stepford/Pleasantville/Oz-the-Great quality to him, because he’s rich, man-beautiful, and seems like kind of a badass, but I can’t help thinking also he’s probably a weirdo and a control freak–i.e., privately not at all what he projects to the public. That is at least 40% speculation, but clearly there is a lot of stuff under the surface, just from what has occasionally crept out there. He’s fascinating, and as I said in the Reacher thread, I think he’s underappreciated as an actor and as a tremendously resilient cultural icon.

  29. “don’t down” –> “don’t doubt”

  30. Aight. Bourne 5 – Some mild spoilerage, probably.

    Broke down and hopped over to the AMC to watch this bad boy today. Not sure how I feel about it. At the high-level, I’m giving it a B- or C+. I don’t know think it’s bad, it’s just that I’d put it at the bottom of the heap, duking it out with Legacy. I wanted it to be a lot better, and I truly believe somewhere between Greengrass (or Liman) and Gilroy, they could have made something a lot better. Not quite what I’m trying to say here, but this one felt colder and somewhat pointless. It was hard to get absorbed in the film. On the other hand, I’ll take more Jason Bourne just about any way I can get it, and I enjoyed Damon here. There’s that line about sex (or pizza): even when it’s bad, it’s still pretty good. That’s about how I feel about this.

    What I Dug
    -I like older Bourne.
    -I like the new locations.
    -I like the classic Bourne shtick. The globetrotting, the beatdowns, the cat-and-mouse.
    -Julia Stiles is always a comforting face in this, and I like the idea that she and Bourne have stayed in occasional touch. They’re kind of buds, as much as Bourne can be buds with anyone.
    -Vincent Cassel. Hell, yes. He kicks ass. he belongs right there in the canon of Bourne assassins.
    -Riz Ahmed. Dig him. But see below.
    -Greece riot set piece. Noice!
    -Barenuckle boxing. A little cliche, but I dug it. C’mon. Bourne getting his Lionheart on.
    -Gregg Henry. The Bourne universe needed him. Could have used more of him. He actually would have been the better choice of mid-level, shady, Intelligence Community bureaucrat guy.
    -The promise of more Bourne films. Yes, more. I’m hoping for a couple more legit very good Bourne films. Barring that, I’ll coast with it on fumes for a bit longer (see aformentioned pizza/sex simile).
    -That final throwdown with Bourne and the Asset was epic. So ugly it’s beautiful. Hard for me to believe that would pass a PG-13 rating, because that was snuff film caliber to me. Beautifully grainy and gritty. I’m a just come out of the closet: I like the shakycam just fine, and I think shakycam serves this scene very well. Bawse!

    The Did We Watch the Same Movie?
    -Alicia Vikander. Heard some complaints about her in this. I dug her. Ice cold. Young lady, I knew Joan Allen and David Strathairn, and you’re…well, you’re a pretty good combo of the two. She’s a far more interesting bureaucratic Bourne foil than Tommy Lee. Or Ed Norton for that matter.
    -Vegas car chase. Heard some people meh-ing this, too, but I though it was an awesome car chase.
    -The Bourne subplot with his father actually didn’t bother me at all, except the Vincent Cassel part. But overall, I don’t see what’s so bothersome or inescapably implausible about this. I was down to go along with it.

    The Bad, Ugly, etc.
    -This whole Facebook social media / Snowden stuff is just a stupid, stupid, lazy, faux-“topical” angle. Extremely, almost embarrassingly hacky. For as much of the film as this ate up, it was a completely unnecessary sub-plot. Also, since when do Bourne films have actual subplots that don’t serve the immediate Treadstone/Super Soldier plot. This served no purpose. Riz Ahmed does just great, but this whole sub-plot was a huge miscalculation.
    -Tommy Lee Jones. Man, on paper, he sounds like the perfect choice for this kind of role, but he’s just a caricature of previous Bourne CIA bureaucrats and every world-weary, tough-as-nails, cold-hearted-sumbitch TLJ has ever played. The result is bordering on self-parody. I don’t think he’s phoning in the performance, it’s just that he’s a lazy character. We’re supposed to believe that the director of the agency himself is personally getting his hands dirty overseeing all kinds of total moustache-twirling unambiguous Darth Vader shit, as if he’s gonna do that, and as if Jason Bourne is going to be his number one priority. I’m sorry, that’s just too much. In previous entries, they were generally wise enough to limit this stuff to the mid-level bureaucrats, though with Scott Glenn in Ultimatum, they started getting lazy and doing this just ridiculous shit. It’s a solid performance and good casting and just a terribly conceived and written character. And the whole business with his right-hand-man. I’m sad to say, I’m getting tired of the whole #2 thing. Strathairn, Allen, Cox. It’s become a cliche.
    -The whole. The gestalt. I wanted there to be more. I wanted to be geeking out and really having fun. I wanted more of Bourne toying with people. Those little zingers. I wanted to feel some earned emotional through line here. The idea about Bourne being a patriot and maybe wanting to come in. It didn’t feel earned at all. Didn’t ring true at all. Before he was a charismatic cypher. I hate to say it, but some of that appeal is gone. We need something to humanize him and/or we need a better sense of what he’s about. Although I didn’t mind the Gregg Henry retcon, it just wasn’t executed or played out with enough force to make for a really compelling motivation. It sounds like a good motivation on paper, but they didn’t follow it through enough, and then it’s really, really diluted by this Deep Dream/Snowden clusterfudge extraneous subplot. Did I mention that sucked.
    -SPOILER….The idea that not only was it Bourne who blew the Asset’s cover but that we then find that it was the Asset who killed his father. Small world, ain’t it?! GTFO. That’s just some lazy, beyond-credulity stuff. On the flip side, it makes the final confrontation between the two a bit more personal and satisfying. I’ve never seen Bourne administer a beatdown that was so personal, and you felt the difference, and as I said, it was some precious grisly ish.

    Easily the worst of the Damon Bournes (maybe the worst overall), but still: I’ll take my pizza cold out the box and it with beer goggles on if I have to.

    On the other hand,it’s great seeing Jason Bourne back doing his thing.

    I think that’s because

  31. strike the extraneous verbiage after the beer goggles thing

  32. @ Skani

    “at what point in any of the previous Bourne movies did those plots connect to timely events going on in the broader real world?”

    It’s primarily there in the paranoia and “win at any cost” mentality of both earlier Greengrass entries. This was particularly evident in Ultimatum, with talk of rendition, targeting US citizens, and the ideological differences between Landy and Vosen. All of that stuff evokes the post-9/11 era without actually having to directly address any real-world events. Identity does feel much closer to a Cold War era thriller (no doubt in part because it’s the closest to the Ludlum novels), which is likely why the filmmakers originally worried it would seem out of date once 9/11 occurred.

    I’m not sure this version of David Webb lends itself to domesticity the same way the Ludlum version did. I think they made the right call by continuing the thread of Webb/Doe feeling guilt over the actions of Bourne. That’s a concept I’d like to see them explore in a sequel and the most logical way I could see Webb choosing to re-enter the fold. I’m not fully convinced he would ever head back to Langley for active duty, but could easily envision a scenario in which he’s persuaded to make amends for a past action. (For example, what if one of Bourne’s assassinations led to the destabilization of a specific region? I would love to see what kind of havoc the character could do if dropped into the midst of a third world country.)

    As for Ethan Hunt, I agree he’s primarily been presented as a stock archetype- particuarly in the early films. Ironically, of all the current cinematic spies, this has resulted in him (and his adventures) being the most like the traditional movie Bond. However, what continues to help make Hunt more interesting is the series’ longevity. Cruise’s tenure with the character is already longer than any single Bond actor and in terms of consistency it’s a collection of films that is rivaled only by Connery’s run in the 1960s. (Once Mission Impossible 6 is released, that longevity fact will remain true even if we count Connery’s return in the unofficial Never Say Never Again.)

    So Mission Impossible does become more interesting as you trace Hunt’s evolution over the course of two decades. He starts out as a loyal protege to Jim Phelps, ends up betrayed and disillusioned, then ultimately returns from the cold to lead a team of younger recruits himself. If McQuarrie decides to build on that foundation, there’s still a lot of potential there to do something unique in the genre.

  33. Jake, good stuff here. I finished Ultimatum yesterday; while watching it I realized that you were right. The Vosen character and his operation did have more of that sinister element as far as your worst fears about what intelligence agencies could be doing in an era of perpetual war, waterboarding, U.S. citizens being declared enemy combatants, and the like. I will concede that Ultimatum did play into those fears and issue a bit more. On the other hand I think those elements were virtually absent from even Supremacy.

    As for Cruise and M:I, I think those are good points. And I’ll continue to watch them, but without any particular urgency: I’ll catch them as they make their way to Prime or Redbox, while Bourne 5 dragged me out to the theatre yet again even with the knowledge of middling reviews. Bond has this kind of caricatured legend about him. Bourne has this vulnerability and pathos about him, even if he is stoic and tightly wound. Ethan Hunt lacks both of those things. To me, he is just kind of a Tom Cruise vanity character. MI:3 tried to humanize him, but then my sense was that part 4 abandoned that idea. The make-up of the team shifts from film to film, it’s generally taken on a more deliberately hammy tone in the last couple. It’s just hard for me to get very invested in it, and I find that it takes some level of investment in the character to sustain my interest in the action.

  34. “I will concede that Ultimatum did play into those fears and issue a bit more. On the other hand I think those elements were virtually absent from even Supremacy.”

    Yes, I’d say those elements are more prominent in Ultimatum (and certainly Green Zone) while Supremacy is probably best known for defining the tone and style of post-9/11 action. Greengrass likely didn’t feel as confident putting them front and center on what was essentially his first major Hollywood production, especially that soon after 9/11.

    It will be interesting to see if McQuarrie ends the tradition of revolving team members with Mission Impossible 6, as it already feels like they are settling on a core group (Renner, Rhames, Pegg, and now Ferguson). It’s true the series plays more like a star vehicle for Cruise, but that also ends up adding a unique dimension. Viewers can effectively trace his career over the course of 20 years and it won’t be surprising to see that span stretched to 30.

    As I mentioned earlier, the franchise has essentially become the modern equivalent of what Bond movies used to be. (Rogue Nation even opens with the kind of slick, efficient pre-titles sequence that used to be 007’s speciality.) If Supremacy marked a turning towards gritty realism, I tend to regard Ghost Protocol as the point where audiences started gravitating back to escapism. This is one reason I think it would be interesting to see a Bourne film where he actually goes on a mission- effectively dropping the character that broke typical spy conventions right back into them.

  35. “I think it would be interesting to see a Bourne film where he actually goes on a mission”

    I said something similar about Bourne in the Legacy thread. Or somewhere…probably in a dream I had. Franchise Fred was there.

    Aside from Tommy Lee Jones’s character and his sidekick, both of which are just awful caricatures of prior Bourne/Tommy Lee Jones heavies, the main problem with Bourne 5 is that it doubles down on the whole ‘tortured soul uncovers mysteries of his past’ shtick, and that’s one too many trips to that well. #torturebourne. I would not want to see Bourne go too light, but I think we need to have a still stoic, still badass, but reasonably-well-adjusted Bourne go on some kind of mission or solve some mystery about something other than his own past. I think it’s time to transition to stand-alone adventure mode vs. plumbing the depths of his shadowy past and fragile psyche.

  36. “the main problem with Bourne 5 is that it doubles down on the whole ‘tortured soul uncovers mysteries of his past’ shtick”

    I believe you can still have a Bourne that is guilt-ridden, but fully agree the character and series should not be limited to him uncovering mysteries from his past. That’s probably my biggest criticism of the new film, as it feels like there was already so much potential for internal motivation via the character’s unique psychological makeup.

    I mentioned before that the Bourne at the end of Ultimatum is potentially the most interesting of the entire series and we see evidence of that change at the beginning of Jason Bourne. There’s no way the character from the original trilogy would’ve been willing to travel around engaging in pit fights. Amnesiac Bourne was more than content to just crawl into a hole and hide.

    This new Bourne then represents the closest we’ve ever gotten to seeing the ‘real’ Bourne who was a Treadstone assassin. He’s a darker, scowling loner who doesn’t have any problems with picking up a gun or hurting people. I would definitely love to see that guy pointed at a small country or something in the next installment, albeit tempered by the other experiences and memories he has undergone as both David Webb and John Doe.

  37. What if they made a Jason Bourne TV show? ….. nevermind

  38. Sternshein, I’d definitely prefer more movies and would view a TV series as low probability of success, but stranger things have happened. I’m hesitant to say “could never work” about anything like that. I’ll just leave it at “I can see plenty of ways that would end up sucking or wearing thin real fast and far fewer ways it could work well.” Never say never.

    Jake, I think we’re pretty converged here. It would be a betrayal of the character if he were suddenly Mr. Smiley, Quippy Guy. He can be “damaged.” I think it’s something about the past mystery and still having new memory recovery experiences, etc. Bourne 5 is either backward-looking in terms of Jason Bourne’s mythology or else it’s focused on this very poorly executed and in my opinion completely unnecessary social media/Snowden-y subplot. It’s coasting entirely on our goodwill for the character and our desire to see the standard Bourne beats and tropes. That’s enough for me to plunk down my $10, but I feel like they can do better by being more forward-looking. Tell me a story about where Bourne is now and where he is headed that is not so focused on him unraveling something from his past. The real challenge is to find that story that makes it fresh and different enough to justify some continued existence and maintain a level of quality without betraying the character. Otherwise, it’s like latter-day Friday the 13th or Nightmare on Elm Street, where the films become a kind of walking self-parody.

  39. I really didn’t like this one. I’m no fan of the original trilogy, and this was just shaky cam to the point of incomprehensibility. At one point someone straight up steps in front of the camera on what should have been a cool take off shot of the motorcycle. If the original films are “Fake smart” this one is “Actually Dumb”.

  40. Apparently the 3D version is causing nausea in China.

    3D 'Jason Bourne' Causes Nausea, Protest in China

    Universal Pictures created an "exclusive" 3D version of the film for the Chinese market, but many moviegoers say the format makes for a queasy mix with Paul Greengrass' handheld camerawork and frenetic editing style.

  41. There is probably an incredibly racist joke that could be made out of this.

  42. @Skani

    “Tell me a story about where Bourne is now and where he is headed that is not so focused on him unraveling something from his past. The real challenge is to find that story that makes it fresh and different enough to justify some continued existence and maintain a level of quality without betraying the character.”

    Yeah, we’re definitely on the same page here. I’d like to see the series find a way to make Bourne feel current again, even if that means experimenting with some more traditional spy genre tropes. I think the film’s ending suggests that the filmmakers might be open to that, and perhaps to even lightening the tone just a tiny bit.

  43. Lorin, if you’re no fan of the original trilogy (which was well-received by critics and audiences alike), what made you think this one would deliver the yahtzee for you? Or was it merely an exercise in filmasochism?

  44. Ok, so I finally saw this. Greengrass’s cinema chops…what happened to them? Whatever knack he had for imparting kineticism to his scenes while still keeping them comprehensible is gone. I was completely baffled and un-engaged by at least 85% of this movie’s action, because I either flat out didn’t understand what was happening or had to use massive amounts of brain juice to decipher it (having to intellectually think about the action, rather than feel it: not great)

    The plot is a miss and in large part a remake of Bourne 2: a bad assassin kills a girl that Bourne cared about and he has to get revenge, warmed over with a very thin privacy subplot and a really unearned backstory moment. BTW, it’s too bad his revenge takes place in a dark storm drain with the camera strapped to a shake-weight and thrown between two cameramen.

    RennerBourne was a better movie than this. Should have had more RennerBourne.

  45. Crush, I didn’t mind the action the way you (and Vern) did. I actually really enjoyed the final beatdown with Vincent Cassel and thought it had some weight to it. However, I agree with in two places:

    1. I think Bourne 4 was as at least as good and possibly better than this. RennerBourne gets a bad rep. Or rap. Or both.

    2. The plot absolutely is a miss. I can’t speak to the effort or sincerity underneath, but it plays like an utterly lazy, derivative, nothing-new-to-say, phoned-in piece of shit. On paper, Tommy Lee Jones is perfect for a Bourne heavy, and his performance is not bad, it’s just such a lazy, moustache-twirling character as written that he’s all Tommy Lee’d up with nowhere to go.

    That’s why I’m bitching some much above about this being a cynical film. Greengrass and Damon demur for nearly a decade, citing their unwillingness to return until they have a great new story to tell, and this is what we get?

    I still had a good time with this, but that’s because I could watch Damon-as-Bourne in pretty much anything, but this is definitely a film that squanders our goodwill rather than building it up.

  46. Saw this again. First viewing was decent, and I enjoyed it much more the second time. The worst of the 4 Damon Bournes. Pretty darn superfluous, as part 3 tied up Bourne’s arc nicely. Some real miscues, such as: the one-dimensional laziness and derivative feel of Tommy Lee Jones’s character; the entire Iron Hand / Deep Dream sub-plot; some really embarassing tech-oriented dialogue soundbites. Still, I think it delivers all the standard Bourne ingredients pretty effectively. Plus, I like older Bourne; Vincent Cassel rocks in this; Alicia Vikander is good; Greece set piece is very solid; Vegas car chase is very solid; Damon-Cassel confrontation is very satisfying and different for me (I thought it was shot just fine). This one is growing on me, at least as much if not more than Legacy has.

  47. I liked BOURNE AGAIN quite abit. The concept of LEGACY sounded great, with exploring the ripple effects of Bourne and the unraveling of the black ops project. But it lacked a bit in human drama. Or at least another interesting protagonist. I think bringing it back to Damons character worked better for me and even if it is your standard Bourne entry, almost too familiar for its own good, I liked what they brought out surroundiung his past. Now it seemed like the final part of the puzzle. I was afraid it was going to be a poor exvuse for Bourne running around European countries facepunching people. It worked allright.

    Both Greengrass and Damon knew what they had achived before had commercial value, so my guess is they just wanted to sit out on the franchise a while so they could claim that it was for artistic purposes. The final result is not exactly anything profound. It is just another good version of the Bourne-formula that I enjoy.

  48. Yup, Shoot, that about sums up my feelings. Though I did enjoy LEGACY more on second viewing and would have liked to see them explore that further.

  49. A History of Violence – The Bourne Identity (2002)

    A new action franchise is Bourne

    The quality of the movies themselves might vacillate, but Jason Bourne himself will never fail you.

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