Monday, August 1, 2016

JASON BOURNE (2016) Matt Damon, Tommy Lee Jones, Alicia Vikander

Director:  Paul Greengrass
Writers:   Paul Greengrass, Christopher Rouse
Actors:    Matt Damon, Tommy Lee Jones, Alicia Vikander

For me, this movie had good things and bad things.  Let’s start with the good.  There’s Matt Damon, of course, physically credible as the bad ass, Jason  Bourne.  What I really like about him is that his acting is all internal.  While his face remains impassive and calm, we can intuit and identify what he’s thinking and feeling, the sense of outrage and betrayal, the conflicted passions of his heart as he tries to understand his father.  The script is good in that we intuit Bourne’s inner angst because of his actions, his indomitable spirit to survive, and his superhuman ability to risk and accomplish incredible physical feats.  Tommy Lee Jones is good in a similar way… his villainous deeds are reflected in the striations of his aging face and flat determination in his eyes.  The choreography of chase scenes on foot, on motorcycle, and in cars reflects all the chaos and destruction inherent in this type of action/suspense thriller.

Which brings us to the bad.  I saw very little humanity in this film… no act of tenderness or love between the characters which would balance the death and mayhem.  What satisfies me in many of Bruce Willis and Jason Statham films is that there’s usually a powerful moment of humanity so my heart becomes engaged. There’s usually someone innocent and vulnerable in danger, which justifies the violence which Willis and Statham must resort to. Protecting someone defenseless somewhat justifies killing the enemy.  In this movie, neither Bourne nor the government is defenseless.

No doubt about it, this is a political film, exploring the boundaries of moral right and wrong.  By now, we all know we’re each one of us under government surveillance. Television’s Person of Interest and Snowden’s disclosures have ensured that.  What disturbs me most about this film is that, ultimately, it demonstrates how we, the ordinary citizens of the world, are all just pawns in a worldwide game of power.  In the way Bourne and his enemy use crowds to fulfill their personal agendas, we realize it doesn’t matter how many innocent people are killed in their quest for triumph over each other.  All that matters is that they win and survive.
TAGS:  Jason Bourne, Matt Damon, Tommy Lee Jones, Alicia Vikander, Julia Stiles, Robert Ludlum, Paul Greengrass