Underwhelming cinema, thy name is “Jason Bourne.”
The problem with the 2016 relaunch of the Bourne franchise is not that this is a bad movie. It’s not bad, really. It’s made by capable hands — returning director Paul Greengrass knows what he’s doing and Matt Damon commits to the part with his usual understated nerve. The problem is that the original trilogy wrapped up this whole story just fine, with that open-ended conclusion feeling like the perfect final statement rather than a loose thread. “Jason Bourne” never finds a reason to exist beyond someone at the studio realizing this is a franchise with a name people recognize. There’s no pulse to it, no drive, no “Wow, I can’t believe that just happened!” moment. It’s a film made by obscenely talented people on autopilot, happy to be back for an easy hit, but not inspired enough to do their best work.
The result is something that can’t help but feel more disappointing than an absolute dud. If this was a debacle, it would’ve been fun to talk about, to pick apart, to ponder. Instead, it’s just more of the same but made with less enthusiasm and care. It’s a band playing their greatest hits. They know how to do this in their sleep, so they do. Considering just how thrilling the original trilogy of films was, and how each one felt the need to top the previous one in ambition, that’s the ultimate letdown. (Jacob Hall)