By Jonathan Decker (Family therapist, film critic)
WHAT’S JASON BOURNE ABOUT?
The formerly amnesiac superspy is drawn out by an assassination plot designed to trade freedom for security.
IS IT ANY GOOD? (GRADE: B-)
Not a bad film as much as an unnecessary one, Jason Bourne can’t escape feeling like an extended epilogue to the much-better story that proceeded it, despite being well-acted and well-made. Matt Damon continues his solid work in the title role, while Alicia Vikander and Tommy Lee Jones are welcome additions to the franchise. There are several standout action scenes, although with this amount of collateral damage one wonders if the world would have been better off had Bourne simply remained an assassin. Also, the protagonist continues to walk away from incidents (car crashes, beatings) that should have killed him, which clashes with the gritty, realistic tone these movies strive for.
Although it’s polished and entertaining, the script does little to advance its title character (whose arc was completed in the original trilogy). What’s more, returning director Paul Greengrass follows his own playbook so closely that this outing is routine and predictable. Jason Bourne is worth the watch but, ironically for a series about memory loss, ends up being forgettable.
IS IT OKAY FOR YOUR KIDS?
Jason Bourne is rated PG-13. It has some moderate profanities scattered throughout, but no f-words. There is no sexuality or nudity. As is the case with these films, people are shot, stabbed, strangled, and beaten in brutal hand-to-hand combat, with some blood. An untold number of civilians die in the vehicular mayhem of a car chase.
ANY WORTHWHILE MESSAGES?
Protect freedom at all costs. Trading liberty for security will put you at the mercy of those who will exploit you.
The Bourne series directly inspired the fight choreography of our 24 parody 29: Day Two, a fan-film that works as both a standalone and as a sequel tothe original 29. I hope that you enjoy it!
Jonathan Decker is the clinical director of Your Family Expert. He is a licensed marriage and family therapist, husband, and father of five. Jonathan earned a masters degree in family therapy from Auburn University as well as a bachelor’s degree in clinical psychology from Brigham Young University. He is an actor, author, and television personality.