Jason Bourne, the latest installment in the Bourne series, is a joyful, if ultimately forgettable experience that will leave you happy while watching it, before quickly fading away after you leave the theater.
Part of the magic of the Bourne series has always been that Matt Damon's, Jason Bourne is just a seemingly regular guy who gradually discovers he has incredible abilities and skills. Bourne's pursuit of his memories and the truth about himself are the propellent of the original trilogy of movies. The mystery, stunning action scenes, and building tension and story all added up to a remarkable trio of movies that have left a profound impact on the action genre in the past 15 years and directly inspired the series and tone of the world's most famous spy, James Bond.
That's what makes this newest film such a let-down in many ways. Without spoiling anything it quickly introduces and then jettisons one of the major characters from the first three films, which along with Bourne having his memory back, robs the film of much of the spark from the previous ones. Indeed, right from the opening scene something just seems off about this film.
There are action scenes and a stunning fight at the films conclusion, but on the whole it just seems lacking of many of the signature series highs. Tommy Lee Jones is wonderful as a twisty, driven, conniving CIA director and Alicia Vikander is similarly brilliant as an ambitious, complex, up-coming agent who's ultimate loyalty and motives easily steal the movie and become by far the most interesting premise. What side she's on and what she's aiming for don't get resolved until the very final scene of the film and even then the movie leaves a bit of ambiguity to it all.
Yet, in the end, Jason Bourne just isn't anywhere near as incandescent as its predecessors. It is a fun film, indeed one that asks interesting and important questions at times, yet it doesn't really have any answers, even to the films most fundamental and paramount question of whats next for Bourne. It doesn't seem to know what it wants to do with its main character and oddly at times it feels like he's being sidelined, indeed it's not even until well into the film before he has any role at all in the proceedings of the movie and even later until he directly steps in. Ultimately Jason Bourne is nothing more or less then a good movie. Watching it in the theater you will enjoy and like what it puts forth but it is unlikely to stick with you and leave an imprint like its forebears did.