I remember an argument I had with a close friend and cinephile, about the greatest spy franchise of all time. James Bond has the hype, while Mission: Impossible has Tom Cruise’s glorious six-pack abs. But, I had something else in mind.
Short aside. Now that I think about it, the James Bond franchise kinda reminds me of the English national football side. We sit down, as one news channel after another tells us how great this franchise/team is and how important this womanizing, Martini-sipping Englishman is to pop culture. We wait excitedly for rumours on casting/selection as if our life depended on it, only for the movie/team to eventually turn out to be almost always a let-down. I’m quite the fan of James Bond too, but after putting much thought into it, I came to the conclusion that there are only three GREAT Bond movies – Goldeneye, Casino Royale and Skyfall.
Anyway, back to the argument I had with my friend. Forget James Bond and Mission: Impossible. The greatest spy franchise of all time is Bourne. Sure, Bourne doesn’t have the James Bond hype, nor does it have Tom Cruise and his sick-pack abs going all Jackie Chan on buildings and moving vehicles. But what the Bourne series do have is a good story, great action scenes, and an even greater actor in the leading role. Besides Bourne Legacy, of course. Fuck that Jeremy Renner bullshit.
The first three Bourne movies were brilliant action films, and with Paul Greengrass and Matt Damon returning to the franchise, this fourth movie (cause seriously, fuck Bourne Legacy), titled Jason Bourne, was poised to be THE BEST SHIT EVER! Annnnd, it was pretty decent, I guess.
Jason Bourne is a good movie, but it’s also a disappointing movie. I know, I sound like a fucking retard. How can a movie be good, yet disappointing at the same time? If Jason Bourne is the first in its series, I would have jizzed my pants 20 times in the cinema, drove home at 220km/h (I don’t even own a car btw), whipped out my laptop, and wrote a thesis on how James Bond and Ethan Hunt should spend the rest of their lives sucking Jason Bourne’s penis.
The movie starts in some desert where Jason Bourne is now Wolverine. No, he doesn’t have metal claws coming out of his hands, but he’s punching people in the face and he’s doing it shirtless. So, close enough. Then this movie does what all Bourne movies do. We’re told that there’s another clue to Jason Bourne’s past and we’re also told that whatever that we’ve learned in previous movies aren’t half as mind blowing as whatever they’re gonna drop for the next two hours.
After that, we head over to Athens for a kickass action scene, jam-packed with what would usually be considered “shaky cam nonsense,” but since it’s Paul Greengrass behind the camera and this is BOURNE, all is forgiven. There is also a jaw dropping chase scene at the end, which may not be the best chase scene you’ve ever seen (because nothing will ever beat Mad Max: Fury Road until the end of time), but it’s still guaranteed to be more amazing than your relationship. In between the kickass action scene at the start and the kickass action scene at the end, there’s some stuff about social media, invasion of privacy and some other wannabe intellectual bullshit nobody cares about.
Matt Damon has always been amazing as Jason Bourne, and here, he’s amazing as Wolverine. Alicia Vikander is incapable of performing badly and here she’s no different, though, she spends most of her time staring at multiple computer screens. Tommy Lee Jones joins Alicia Vikander and spends a majority of the movie staring at giant computer screens and he, just like Vikander, stares really well. Vincent Cassel plays the role of an unnamed villain who doesn’t spend two hours staring at computer screens. I mean, there has to be someone for Matt Damon to do crazy shit with.
BUT, Jason Bourne isn’t the first in its franchise. The action scenes are great, the performances are fine, Paul Greengrass’ directorial efforts are on point as usual. The problem is, Jason Bourne is pretty much the exact same thing as Bourne Identity, Bourne Supremacy and Bourne Ultimatum. The mystery is starting to feel forceful and tiresome. But, because this movie ensures that Jeremy Renner’s made in China version of Bourne isn’t the last in the franchise, it is
All photos sourced from Jason Bourne.