(barely) 4 out of 5 stars if you’re caught up on the series
3 out of 5 stars if you’ve never seen a Bourne movie
Jason Bourne (played by Matt Damon) is the fifth movie in the Bourne franchise, and satisfactorily ties up some important lingering plot points. It’s a solid movie and I had a good time. Tommy Lee Jones plays the antagonist, and is, of course, wonderful in any role he plays. There was a scene where you may wonder if you’ve entered the Marvel universe as one of the characters seems to have super healing powers like Wolverine, but no, this is just more of Hollywood’s recent determination to be totally ignorant of the basics of human biology. If you’ve seen all the other Bourne movies and enjoyed them, you should watch this one; if you haven’t watched the others, don’t watch this one — watch the first movie instead: The Bourne Identity. The Bourne Identity is a solid 5 out of 5.
These criticisms are aimed at Bourne movie fans:
- Nothing new developed in terms of Jason Bourne’s personality, character or skill set.
- As played by Matt Damon, Bourne seemed world weary with none of the innocence and goodness in the earlier movies, which makes sense, but being less complex and sympathetic was somewhat distancing. There was one attempt to show complexity and a hint of goodness in Bourne, but it wasn’t well done and irritated me, but it passes quickly.
- The choreography and imagination of the hand to hand combat scenes was not as good as in the first two Bourne movies, but since no other movie has matched them either, that’s not such a bad criticism.
- The car chase scenes were just that. It was all done before.
Boy, that list sounds dreary! Not so, it’s just that the movie pales in comparison to the truly great The Bourne Identity, and for me the emotional connection was dependent on the earlier movies. Waiting to watch it on T.V. would have been okay, but there is a lot of action — not stellar but better than most — and that always looks better on the big screen.
Trivia: The book The Bourne Identity was part of a trilogy by Robert Ludlum in the 1980s, the other two books being The Bourne Supremacy and The Bourne Ultimatum. I recall they were excellent.
— Jenny Tennant