Jason Bourne (8/10)
by Tony Medley
Runtime 125 minutes.
Not for children.
I feel honor bound to
reveal a conflict of interest I have whenever I write a review about a
film in which Alicia Vikander appears. Almost from the first time I saw
her in A Royal Affair
(2012) she has occupied the spot as my all-time favorite actress. She
has been the best thing in every movie in which I have seen her,
including junk like 2015ís The
Man From U.N.C.L.E., in which all she was required to do was be
Granted, thereís not
much acting required here, either. This is a pure actioner whose biggest
star is the tension-enhancing music (David Buckley and John Powell),
which consists mostly of a constant beat. Even though that might not
sound like much, it does keep the viewer on the edge of his or her seat
throughout because it is, as I said, constant.
Bourne (Matt Damon)
is a fly in the ointment of new CIA director Robert Dewey (Tommy Lee
Jones). One of his assistants is Heather Lee (Vikander) who seems to
have a lot of influence over Dewey, despite her tender years. But to be
fair to Dewey, I donít know any man who wouldnít offer her a job as an
assistant, or anything else, just to have her around.
In the past, movies
in which all the bad guys work for the U.S. government offended me. I
thought that todayís movie makers should make todayís real bad guys,
Islamists, the bad guys in their movies like in WWII when the Nazis and
Japanese were the real bad guys and were the bad guys in most movies.
But after living through the past eight years, I can now accept the fact
that there are lots of corrupt bad guys in the U.S. Government, so
accepting the idea that the head of the CIA is one is no longer hard to
take. Adding to this, Damon apparently insisted that the film have some
political POV, although what that is, is pretty opaque.
If youíre familiar
with the other Bourne movies, you know that Jason is on the outside and
that the CIA is still trying to get him, one way or the other. What this
is, is a chase film, and itís a good one, although some of the car
chases are so silly they mar some of the tension that the movie
produces. This is a surprise because director Paul Greengrass, who
cowrote the script with Christopher Rouse, inspired by the original
novel by the late Robert Ludlum, made the Bourne films into something
special when he took over from Doug Liman, who directed the first one,
The Bourne Identity
(2002) and made a mess of it. Greengrass has shown that he should be
better than these silly car chases he shows here.
Whenever one talks
about car chases, the two originals, Bullitt (1968) and The French
Connection (1971), should be models. They were realistic and
spectacular. All the imitators ever since have been increasingly more
and more ridiculous, and the car chases in this are no different (but I
said pretty much the same thing in my review of Limanís film in 2002). I
am disappointed that Greengrass diminished a good movie by such
absurdities, especially the final 15-minute denouement in Las Vegas that
simply defies credibility and is one of the most ridiculous ever filmed.
Still, the bottom
line is that this is an entertaining film and one does get to look at
Vikander for two hours, and thereís nothing wrong with that.