Jason Bourne 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray Review
After the success of THE BOURNE ULTIMATUM, Matt Damon and Paul Greengrass were constantly asked about a followup. Both of them repeatedly said that they felt Jason Bourne’s story was over and they didn’t know what to do with him next. We heard that several times over the years and each time, I was confused because I felt the answer was very obvious; spend one film setting him up to rejoin the CIA and then make an infinite number of films with him as some sort of CIA agent. It seems Matt Damon and Paul Greengrass heard my pleas because that seems to be exactly what they did with JASON BOURNE.
Bourne (Damon) is a recluse, making money from street fighting in various corners of the world. He gets a call from Nicky (Julia Stiles) who says the agency is working on a new version of the Treadstone project and she learned something new after hacking into the CIA. Reluctant at first, Bourne finds himself immediately caught up in an assassination attempt because back at CIA headquarters, Director Dewey (Jones) and his star protege Heather (Vikander) have tracked down Nicky and have decided to go ahead and take out Bourne while they’re at it. You know, because that worked so well for everyone during the first three films.
So right off the bat, I want to make it clear that JASON BOURNE might be the weakest of the Matt Damon led Bourne films. But it’s still better than most action movies we get. Jason Bourne is a great character and Matt Damon has him down to a science at this point. The fifth Bourne film suffers from an all-too-convenient plot that the previous movies managed to avoid. The added subplots with his father and the connection to the hired assassin seemed forced and unnecessary. They tried to develop a whole plot around a tech whiz (Riz Ahmed) and a connection to the CIA that felt out of place. It was a decent story and maybe could have stood on its own in a separate film, but it didn’t have anything to do with Jason Bourne and funny enough, he never even learned of the connection, nor did he care about what was going on while he was in their vicinity. I think it was a product of Damon and Greengrass overthinking the concept a bit too much and trying to add more story than what was needed. The focus should have been on Bourne, or at least things that might concern or impact him.
The action scenes were on par with anything we’ve seen in the Bourne franchise. I’ve heard complaints about the fast editing from Greengrass once again, but I didn’t see anything here that was better or worse than in Supremacy and Ultimatum. One of the things that stood out to me in Ultimatum was the use of “spy” stuff and that that was lacking in JASON BOURNE. He did a few things that were secret agent worthy, but most of the time he just punched and kicked his way to whatever he wanted to do.
So it might sound like I’m being harsh on JASON BOURNE, but I love the Bourne series and these films are held to a higher standard than other action movies. Damon and Greengrass set the bar high with Supremacy and then topped it with Ultimatum, so it was nearly impossible to live up to the expectations. That said, JASON BOURNE is a very good film and has more than enough action to keep you entertained. I like the direction they took the character and hopefully they’ll make these until Damon is physically unable to do them anymore.
4K ULTRA HD BLU-RAY REVIEW
Video: A lot is going to be said about the first four Bourne films on 4K, but for now, let’s enjoy the greatness of JASON BOURNE on 4K. I was worried about watching it on 4K because I remember reading about screenings of the film in 3D in China were making theatergoers throw up. 4K is not 3D, but sometimes the added detail and HDR can add a layer of depth that is reminiscent of 3D and that’s what had me concerned. I’m pleased to say that I did not throw up while watching this and although the 4K added a lot of detail and the HDR gave us more depth with the color detail, I didn’t find it impacted the fast editing. A lot of the movie is Matt Damon running around and the various settings looked great in 4K as they whizzed by. The underground tunnel sequence at the end looked especially good compared to the Blu-ray version, but the entire film is a nice upgrade.
Audio: Like all Bourne fans, I’m disappointed we don’t get an upgraded Dolby Atmos track, but the DTSX track is very nice.
There are no 4K exclusive features included on the 4K disc, but it does include a copy of the Blu-ray, which includes the following special features:
Bringing Back Bourne (8:15): This is a fluff piece talking about the film and what went into getting it made.
Bourne to Fight (18:21): Three featurettes that cover Damon’s physical training, locations and an extended look at the last fight scene.
The Athens Escape (5:35): A closer look at the chase scene.
Las Vegas Showdown (15:00): Two featurettes about the Las Vegas location, the first covers the convention and the second the chase scene through the Las Vegas strip.