The first 3 Bourne films gave us a franchise which improved with each passing film – the first was a good, solid action thriller – each of the next 2 improved on the previous. Given that Paul Greengrass (director of 2 and 3) and Matt Damon (star of all 3) have moved on, this wasn’t going to be in the same league.
Gone are the political overtones of Supremacy & Ultimatum; gone is Greengrass’ kinetic and singular style of shooting a fist fight. Gone is Bourne himself – unless you count a couple of photos and passing references. New lead actor, new character.
It passes muster as a solid, entertaining action thriller – as long as you can switch off your memories of the series so far. That, though, is tricky when we get the occasional excerpt from Ultimatum’s Waterloo station scene, surely one of the best action scenes in any film of recent years. Legacy is, though, up to the minute – drones feature, and it’s not hard to draw a line between airborne drones and their human equivalents in the shape of the CIA’s shadowy assassins. The drone scenes are the best; the climactic chase and fight feels slightly to formulaic – as well as ending suddenly with a predictable set-up for a sequel.
It could be so much worse – but the film’s title also reminds us how good it could have been.
I rated this movie 3/5 on rottentomatoes.com and 6/10 on imdb.com