Every time after watching a Bourne film, I go back home and listen to Moby’s Extreme Way on repeat. The next day, I forget about it.
That about sums up the way I feel about the Bourne franchise. It’s a likable action film with a predictable plot, and entertains while it lasts – but does not leave much of an impression. Despite having watched all the films, I seem to have a difficult time remembering what exactly each movie was about – only that there was lots of action, Matt Damon running from bad guys, lots of fighting, Matt Damon running from bad guys, lots of explosions, and Matt Damon running from bad guys. Poor bloke can’t even get a break.
Or maybe I can’t remember because there were such big time gaps between each film. The first Bourne movie, Bourne Identity, was released in 2002, followed by Supremacy in 2004 and Ultimatum in 2007. The next, Bourne Legacy, came out after a five year wait, and starred Jeremy Renner coz Damon decided not to return for a fourth film.
It’s 2016, and our favourite CIA-assassin turned rogue operative is back in a self-titled movie, Jason Bourne. Following the classic formula which fans and casual movie-goers would expect by now, the film is jam packed with loads of fighting, action, running away, and things exploding.
Former CIA-assassin Jason Bourne is still on the run from the government. Having recovered his memory (he lost it in the previous film) , Bourne lies low and makes a living by participating in underground fighting rings.
Enter former CIA agent Nicky Parsons, who has turned against the agency and is now working with a hacktivist group to expose CIA for its black ops programs. While hacking into the files, she discovers documents concerning Bourne’s recruitment, his father’s role in the program and his subsequent murder. She decides to meet Bourne in Greece to tell him the findings, and recruit him to her cause. However, her hacking alerts the CIA’s head of cyber ops, Heather Lee, as well as ruthless CIA director Robert Dewey – who is determined to silence Bourne at all costs. He dispatches Asset, an ex-assassin who has a personal grudge against Bourne, to finish them off.
The pair attempt to escape, but Parsons is killed in the process, and Bourne sets out across the continent to find answers about his past and his father’s murder. The rest of the film is a cat and mouse game as Bourne attempts to outmaneuver the CIA whilst trying to stop Dewey from implementing his next Black Ops plan – mass surveillance on every single person on the planet, under the guise of a social media enterprise called Deep Dream.
If you haven’t been following the series, the story can be a little confusing, especially at the beginning of the film. After that, you kind of say ‘fu*k it’ and just sit back and enjoy the action. But because the plot is so predictable, and the characters are so set in a typical mold (evil government agency head – Robert Dewey, righteous agent – Heather Lee, ex-CIA agent with superb skills on the run – Jason Bourne), you can see what’s going to happen from miles away – so there is very little suspense. That doesn’t make it a bad film, because it certainly is entertaining – but like Moby’s Extreme Ways, I’ll forget about it tomorrow.