A Hoodie Comes In Handy

Jason Bourne

Stars: Matt Damon, Tommy Lee Jones, Alicia Vikander, Vincent Cassel, Julie Stiles, Riz Ahmed, Ato Essandoh, Scott Shepherd, Bill Camp, Vinzenz Kiefer and Gregg Henry
Director: Paul Greengrass
Scriptwriters: Paul Greengrass and Christopher Rouse
Composers: John Powell and David Buckley
Cinematographer: Barry Ackroyd
Universal Pictures
Rating: R for violence
Running Length: 123 minutes

Matt Damon is back on the screen to reprise his role of Jason Bourne, who is a government assassin, now on the run and trying to retrieve his memories. Damon has made this role his own and in past films, has had a group of secret U.S. government bureaucrats on his trail. This time, it is Tommy Lee Jones and Alicia Vikander, who closely resembles Emily Blunt in action. Blunt was a driving force in “Sicario.” Director Paul Greengrass takes the crew around the world as Bourne tries to thwart the bad guys and evade this film’s other villain, The Asset (Victor Cassel).

As the film opens, we see what Jason Bourne has been doing since going below the U.S. radar. He is in the Middle East and earning money by prize fighting. Meantime, his former partner, Nicky (Julia Stiles) is in Iceland and finds the online file with information on Bourne’s late father’s involvement with the government bureau, plus the purpose. Now it is a race to get the information to Bourne, and then escape The Asset (Cassel). A side plot has the development of a new social media method that is hack-proof, but the government wants it and the developer, Aaron (Riz Ahmed) won't part with it. There are chases, close escapes, violence, and in the meantime, Headquarters Chief Dewey (Tommy Lee Jones) hot on their trail with his assistant Heather Lee (Vikander). Who is lying, who is double-crossing who, who can you trust (ha...no one) and when is Nicky going to wear a hoodie to cover her long blonde hair because everyone keeps finding her. In the meantime, Bourne is one step ahead of everyone. He, at least, hides in the shadows at times.

Clandestine government agencies undoubtedly exist and their purpose seems to always be power. Just the proximity of power makes some people take chances and it is a study in lying when the camera settles on a bureau meeting with Dewey at the head of the table. As far as acting is concerned, Tommy Lee Jones has the bureau head down pat and could recite these lines in his sleep. The Asset (Vincent Cassel) is a cold-blooded man who shoots his way down a corridor without a second thought. It is Alicia Vikander, who appears a slender figure in this government business, but has a mind like a computer. Her stoic face doesn't give anything away, but you know she is thinking and thinking again. The rest of the cast are the usual agents running around with guns and missing Bourne right and left.

“Jason Bourne” is the fifth in the list of Bourne films and some critics think it is the best. I think it is adequate and sure to please fans of the series. The chase scenes are energetic and pedestrians are at their own risk. Bourne must have an invisible steel helmet as he takes one hit after another and keeps coming. However, the movie is formulaic with a questionable government leader, a killer for hire, the leader’s aide, Bourne and his friend, and the entire world in which to have gun fights and chase scenes. Take away Jason Bourne and you could put James Bond in the film. I actually looked at my watch a few times as two hours seemed long here. If there is another Jason Bourne film, I don't think he has been in Australia or Antarctica yet, and then there is the Space Station to consider. As long as Matt Damon is acting, this role would be his.

Copyright 2016 Marie Asner

For another Jason Bourne film review see the following: