Mon | Mar 30, 2020

'Jason Bourne' sleek and smart

Published:Monday | August 1, 2016 | 12:00 AMDamian Levy
A former CIA assassin and psychogenic amnesiac tries to uncover hidden truths about his past in ‘Jason Bourne’.
The movie ratings.

Jason Bourne. A man trained to be the ultimate super spy by the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA). After having exposed the agency's secrets to the world he goes into hiding, getting by through underground street fights against guys he can knock out with just one punch.

However, when someone from Jason's past brings him information that the world needs to know, he must decide to either turn a blind eye or get back in the game. (He probably gets back into the game, though, because that would be a real short movie otherwise).

Jason Bourne follows a very classic resurgent hero story. The protagonist is brought back into the fray to once more face old foes and may not make it out alive this time. As with those movies. though, until the hero returns the first act inevitably drags. It has us sitting through set-up, exposition, people walking through corridors, and scenes that fail to compel. Never has working at the CIA looked so ridiculously banal.

Thankfully, Jason Bourne himself is the adrenaline shot to the sedated husk that was this movie before his entry. This movie has a remarkable sense of continuity with its action. It is is so dense and complex, with many moving parts at a very brisk pace, but never once will you be lost as to what's happening. The scenes then have a greater impact, and are immensely satisfying to watch.

The story involves Bourne exposing the CIA's blatant disregard for personal privacy in the name of national security. To see the inspiration for this, check out the daily news. The movie even goes so far as to show the messy grey areas of the subject. It isn't simply good vs evil, but, instead, it presents the issue as the layered one that it is.

Jason Bourne did a good job with the resurgent hero archetype. In fact, the dull first act may have been wholly intentional. The way the audience feels is exactly the way the character of Bourne develops - seduced into the far more rewarding life of a super spy, away from the meaningless life of merely surviving.

As my first foray into the world of Jason Bourne, I have to say I was satisfied by the experience. It's a classic spy thriller, chock-full of exciting action as the main course, with a side of thought-provoking undertones. It's a definite Big Screen Watch.