Shockingly pointless and perfunctory cash-in sequel. Sort of disappointing, since we’d like to think that everyone involved had a bit more integrity. They gin up some way to have Bourne get involved in basically the same type of intrigue, which will require him to do the same things—have narrow, ingenious escapes, have brutal fistfights, outwit government agents at every turn. Turns out there’s even more revelations about his past, which don’t really matter and show themselves most readily as obviously fabricated to try to give this film some sense of having a reason to exist. The cycle cleanly closed with the third film, and if they want to open a new one they should have Bourne go full-Snowden and become a champion of the politically oppressed, or something, anything except another clone of the past films.
The film tries to go in a moderately different detour by having a bit of interoffice intrigue between Tommy Lee Jones’ bastard top-FBI character and his slippery protégé Alicia Vikander, and I liked the various layers of that, although they leave it in a very conventional, tired place. Everything is recycled and as such even the action high points seem like things we’ve all seen before. If you love the series, I’d advise you to skip it, as it only brings the whole thing down in retrospect.
And I swear to God Julia Stiles was reading her lines off a monitor, the way she blurted them out with no sense of knowing what she’s saying.