Jason Bourne. Again
PERHAPS the best thing about the Jason Bourne films was the fact they made those at the tiller of the James Bond franchise up their game a little.
The story of the CIA operative who has lost his memory but knows he has some seriously dangerous skills at his disposal were said to be darker, moody and more violent than 007 – and meant Daniel Craig and co felt Bond needed to take itself a little more seriously than the days when Robbie Coltrane could be cast as a Russian baddie.
Based on the Robert Ludlum novels, Bourne returns here basically doing exactly the same type of thing he has in other adventures – trying to recall what it is he exactly got up to previously, evade the clutches of the CIA, and cause some damage while doing so.
This time there is a twist that he has discovered his father has something to do with the mysterious, extra-judicial assassins project known as Treadstone that he knows he was recruited to be part of, and so wants to uncover the truth
As with his previous outings, it is polished and great to look at – but also as with his earlier films, many will find the constant shouting into walkie-talkies a real bore.
Far too much of the air time in these Bourne films involve people in suits staring at computers and spouting techno-poppycock as operatives use mind-blowing – or mind-numbing, depending on your view – surveillance equipment to chase him around the world.
The Bourne films are packed full of this, like some kind of spy film version of Top Gear, interspersed with punch-ups. Actually, exactly like Top Gear then.
Even the concept of how Big Brother, extra-judicial tools allow the CIA to look round the world and track their operatives is a bore here.
Furthermore, while Matt Damon is excellent, as ever, the problem with his character is he is searching to find out about himself – which means we are a little in the dark as to who he really is, making for him to be a rather lopsided and one-dimensional.
Jason Bourne’s adventures have given us a new type of spy film in the early Noughties, but it now feels as tired as the films it was trying to out-gun when he first appeared on our screens.