(Originally posted 9th August 2016)
Have you seen any of the previous Jason Bourne films? If yes, then you've already seen this one too. It is exactly the same as the second and third films in that it makes no attempt to do anything original or interesting with the story.
It also brings together all the worst elements of those earlier pointless films. Overly long car chases? Check. Computers are magic and can do anything? Check. Credulity stretching personal connection with the bad guy? Check.
For what it's worth, the plot involves Jason Bourne getting dragged back into the world of international espionage after his old buddy Nicky Parsons (Julie Stiles) involves him in a plot to bring down the C.I.A. Then something involving a motorbike goes on for about forty minutes but the camera was shaking too much to really know what. So the C.I.A. are after him but they've got their own problems as well because the different members are stabbing each other in the back. And then at the end he walks into the sunset to a Moby song or whatever.
Tommy Lee Jones plays C.I.A. Director Tommy Lee Jones, who you might recognise as the same character that Tommy Lee Jones plays in every film he's ever been in (apart from Batman Forever). And let's be fair, he knows how to play that character. The filmmakers obviously took on my suggestion of putting in a primary bad guy for Bourne to repeatedly tussle with and Vincent Cassel is wasted in this two-dimensional role. And of course they had to take it way too far and have it that he killed Bourne's father. Bourne's father, incidentally, who it turns out is a crucial element in every aspect of the Bourne story even though I'm pretty sure he's never even been mentioned before.
Alicia Vikander does what she can with another characterless role that is just there to buffer the magical computers that solve everything. Did you know that you can wipe the memory of a USB stick 8000 miles away as long as there's a Nokia 3210 in the room?
The only highlight is Riz Ahmed as a young Zuckerberg style tech entrepreneur who has found himself in a deal with the devil. It's a great performance and feels very real in a film that specialises in the incredulous. It is this element of the story, dealing with concerns of the government spying on our internet activity that was obviously the starting point for the plot. It's topical, it's in the collected consciousness of the target audience, it's a genuine concern. They could have developed that into a suspenseful espionage/corrupt government story, but nah, fuck it, let's drive a tank into a casino.
A waste of time and money that has no validation as either art or entertainment. The final nail in the Bourne coffin that should have been left buried nine years ago.
You can hear some better ideas for Bourne films here: