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Title: Jason Bourne

Movie: :3stars:
Video: :4.5stars:
Audio: :4.5stars:
Extras: :3stars:

HTS Overall Score:81

You really don’t even need a trailer to sell “Jason Bourne”. The name Jason Bourne was made famous 14 years ago when Paul Greengrass and Matt Damon revitalized the spy genre after watching the Bond franchise living in its waning years (Brosnan’s last to Bond flicks didn’t exactly help the genre much). Unfortunately Paul Greengrass was also the instigator of the “shaky cam” phase of film making that has been the source of MUCH frustration over the last decade and a half. Greengrass used it with great effect for “The Bourne Identity” and “The Bourne Supremacy”, but other film makers saw it as an opportunity to hide poor choreography by saying “look, it’s edgy!” and thus we have the last 15 years of nearly unwatchable action movies due to wondering if you’re watching a fight scene or having an epileptic seizure.

After the first 3 Bourne movies had played itself dry, the powers that be tried to keep the franchise alive by bringing in an alternate CIA program runner in the form of Jeremy Renner, hoping that the IDEA of the Treadstone program was more important than actually having Matt Damon in the driver’s seat. They thought wrong. “Bourne Legacy” was a decent action movie, but the fans really didn’t take to well to the change in lead stars, so the likelihood of a sequel to that particular spinoff is not exactly high on the probability spectrum. HOWEVER, the excitement and vicious backlash for changing characters WAS enough to convince the big wigs at Universal to try and get Damon back. A task which actually took a few years and some negotiating. Needless to say I and other fans were ECSTATIC to see Jason Bourne coming back to his own franchise. The only thing was, it didn’t work out as great as we expected. “Jason Bourne” seems to be a rehash of all of the other films in the franchise and has no real reason to exist just going by the story. That’s not to say it’s a bad movie and I’m bashing it, but there is nothing new or interesting about the situation that Bourne is once again stuffed into.

Jason Bourne (Matt Damon) has been off the grid for some years now. After the events of “The Bourne Ultimatum” he’s got most of the answers that he was looking for and has the retribution he needed to sleep well. Or so we thought. Now he spends most of his days using his extraordinary physical abilities to engage in street fights for money, all the while beating himself up emotionally for the things that he has done. Ex CIA agent Nicky Parsons (Julia Stiles reprising her role from the first three films) draws him back into the game when she engages in some whistle blowing activities and realizes that the CIA is creating ANOTHER super soldier program that is just as deadly as all the other’s. However, CIA analyst Heather Lee (a badly miscast Alicia Vikander) is on to Nicky and tracks her down in hopes of getting to Bourne. Now that he’s been seen again after all these years, the CIA is going to stop at nothing to require or kill their old asset.

There’s an old saying that is something along the lines of “there is nothing new in storytelling anymore. It’s just the same old stories being told in a slightly different way”, and I can actually see that. There are only a few basic story ideas that are told and retold over the years, but “Jason Bourne” takes that concept much more literally than I think it was meant as. To put it simply, there is nothing new, exciting or refreshing about “Jason Bourne”. Not even in the plot department. Basically Jason is found again and has to run from the CIA assassins that are hunting him and he wants to find out more about his past in the Treadstone program. Sound familiar? That’s because it’s the same plot points for the other three films. Except this time it makes even less sense due to the fact that his demons were pretty much laid to rest back in 2007. There’s some effort at creating a new conflict with Vincent Cassel playing a CIA “project” who holds a grudge against Bourne for the actions taken in the previous movies, but there really isn’t anything of interest in that sub plot either.

Trying to keep things moving forward, we have Alicai Vikander playing the young “sympathetic” (or is she?) CIA agent who wants to bring Bourne in instead of kill him. She’s basically the very obvious “changing of the guard” where Tommy Lee Jones is the old, outdated CIA staff whose ideas are becoming obsolete in an ever changing and ever more technically inclined world. Vikander is a wonderful actress and I adored her in “Ex Machina”, but her cold and icy stare feels out of place in “Jason Bourne” and there is a decided lack of chemistry between herself and Jason, even though that is supposed to be a focal point of the film. Tommy Lee Jones is solid enough as Director Robert Dewey, but Tommy has lost some of the fire in his acting in the last decade or so. He’s showing his age and his enthusiasm for the roles is definitely waning. The best part is still Matt Damon. I don’t agree with his political or social inclinations in the slightest but I SERIOUSLY respect his work ethic for his movies. He once again loses himself in the role of Bourne and does a fantastic job at portraying the tortured assassin turned human once again.


Rated PG-13 for intense sequences of violence and action, and brief strong language

Video :4.5stars:
The 5th (or 4th depending on if you are a purist and only count the Matt Damon movies) in the Bourne franchise is quite a looking in 1080p. Supposedly shot with a mixture of film and digital cameras, the image is breathtaking and I have to ascertain that it looks like film was used for a majority of the shots. Darker night time shots appear to be more digital and carry the earmarks of that format, but the rest of the movie has decidedly organic and lightly grained texture that mimics the look of the previous entries quite closely. Blacks are deep and inky, and only shows minimal banding when a flood light is shown to the naked eye, but there is a bit of digital noise that crops up here and there. Fine detail is amazing, with Damon’s now craggy face showing the lines and stress wears that years of being on the run has done to his character. Tommy Lee Jones has every crease and myriad of wrinkles showing up with razor sharp clarity, and the more intimate detailing of the CIA suits show individual fibers and dust that gets caught on the dark blue clothing. Whites can sometimes bloom a bit in the daylight, but that has been an effect employed by Greengrass for quite some time and is more of a stylistic choice than anything.

Audio :4.5stars:
Once again Universal makes the smart choice and puts the object oriented track on BOTH the 4K edition and the Blu-ray. However, instead of the normal Atmos they like to employ, they’ve decided to go with a DTS:X track (which the re-releases of the first 4 films also share), and the results are QUITE impressive. Even listening in DTS-HD MA 7.1 for those without a DTS:X receiver will give an amazing listening experience. The dialog is strong and cleanly replicated throughout, and the immersion level on the mix is encompassing at all times. You can hear the tires screeching to the left of you while a shotgun blast rocks the side speakers and the score just flows throughout all 8 speakers with a throbbing sort of power. Interestingly the LFE is not as overbearing and HEAVY as I expected, which is not a bad thing. The bass is tight, clean and punch, but stays reserved and only comes out in full force when some of the serious action gets underway. Something which may seem out of place when listening to movies that overcook the bass and run hot all the way through (not that I’m complaining about that either. Some of my favorite movies are what I like to call “overcooked”).

Extras :3stars:

• Bringing Back Bourne - Matt Damon and Director Paul Greengrass discuss how they brought a beloved character back to the big screen.
• Bourne to Fight - A behind-the-scenes look at the fight sequences in Jason Bourne.
• Bare-Knuckle Boxing - Matt Damon discusses his love for boxing and how he prepared for the bare-knuckle fight sequences.
• Close Quarters - A behind-the-scenes look at the brutal fight between Jason Bourne and Christian Dassault.
• Underground Rumble - Matt Damon, Vincent Cassel, and fight coordinator Roger Yuan discuss how they staged Bourne's final showdown with The Asset.
• The Athens Escape - Matt Damon, stunt coordinator Gary Powell and second unit director Simon Crane discuss the challenges of shooting a chase sequence through cramped city streets.
• Las Vegas Showdown - For the final act of Jason Bourne, filmmakers wanted something bigger and bolder than ever before. Here's an inside look at how they pulled it off.
• Convention Chaos - Join the cast and crew on location in Las Vegas as they film the final act of Jason Bourne.
• Shutting Down the Strip - A behind-the-scenes look at one of the wildest car chases in Bourne history.

Overall: :4stars:

Sadly “Jason Bourne” is not the great return to fame that we had hoped. It had all the right earmarks for success too. Matt Damon as the lead, Paul Greengrass returning as fan favorite director, and a nice hefty budget too. Unfortunately Greengrass and crew really don’t do anything novel or forward thinking with their script and are satisfied to just use the movie as means to return to the a nostalgic period in the character’s life. Things do get a bit more interesting with the car chase at the end and the use of several big fight scenes are quite engaging, but at the end of the viewing all I could think of was “that was it”? Audio and video are amazing as I have surmised since the beginning and the extras are pretty healthy with some great insights into the film making process. Worth it as a solid rental at the very least.

Additional Information:

Starring: Matt Damon, Alicia Vikander, Tommy Lee Jones
Directed by: Paul Greengrass
Written by: Paul Greengrass, Christopher Rouse
Aspect Ratio: 2.39:1 AVC
Audio: English: DTS:X (DTS-HD MA 7.1 Core), English DTS Headphone:X, Spanish DTS-HD 7.1, French DTS 5.1
Studio: Universal
Rated: PG-13
Runtime: 123 Minutes
Blu-ray Release Date: December 6th, 2016

Buy Jason Bourne On 4K Blu-ray at Amazon
Buy Jason Bourne On Blu-ray at Amazon

Recommendation: Rental

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