Jason Bourne

10 Ways To Fix The Jason Bourne Franchise

Source: Universal Pictures

The latest entry in the Jason Bourne movie franchise underwhelmed critics and left audiences with a feeling of déjà vu. The hotly anticipated return of Matt Damon as the amnesiac spy was, basically, more of the same. It’s not that Jason Bourne is a bad movie, per se; it’s just that it didn’t really move the franchise forward in any meaningful way. Even the movie’s title, Jason Bourne, feels uninspired. Still, with the talent involved in this series, it wouldn’t be too hard to fix the Bourne franchise and return it to the glorious form of the first three films. Here are 10 ways to fix/improve the Jason Bourne franchise.

10. Return To The Source Material

The first three Jason Bourne movies were based on a trilogy of books written by acclaimed author Robert Ludlum, and the first movie at least follows the first book pretty closely. Although Ludlum passed away in 2001, books about Jason Bourne have continued to be published by a new writer, Eric Van Lustbader. There have been a total of nine new Bourne novels written since 2004 and they continue to sell very well. However, the last two movies — 2012’s woeful The Bourne Legacy and this summer’s Jason Bourne — have gotten away from the source material and relied instead on original screenplays. Producers of the movies might be better off going back to plumb the books again for stories given how great and successful the first three films were.

http://suzou.net/ Source: suzou.net

9. Move Beyond Car Chases

If the James Bond movies have taught us anything, it is the importance of shaking up chase scenes. Over the years, we’ve seen James Bond drive tanks, dive out of airplanes, bungee jump off dams, evade assassins by skiing off cliffs, and scuba dive his way into the secret lairs of his enemies. So why is Jason Bourne stuck in one car chase after another? Perhaps it’s time to mix things up. Let’s put Bourne in a new situation, where he has to escape on something other than a car or a motorcycle. This would be a welcome change and could spark excitement in audiences. Why can’t Jason Bourne pull an airplane out of a death spiral at the last minute? If Bond can do it, surely Bourne can too, right?

http://www.topgear.com/car-news/movies/watch-behind-scenes-jason-bournes-epic-car-chase Source: topgear.com

8. More Assassins

The first Bourne movie, 2002’s The Bourne Identity, featured many different “assets” or assassins who were hunting Jason Bourne down to trying and kill him. This was very exciting, especially as each asset seemed to be different and use different weapons. However, since then most of the Bourne movies have featured one or maybe two assassins at the most. How about moving towards a whole bevy of assassins again? A rogues gallery of assassins, if you will. Or, if the franchise is intent on focusing on one asset chasing Bourne, how about making that one asset into a super assassin? A hyper-strong, super killer who is almost impossible to beat. After all, Jason Bourne does love a challenge.

https://bamfstyle.com/2015/01/27/bourneid-professor/ Source: bamfstyle.com

7. Put A Stop To All The Government Scheming

Government bureaucrats are weasels, we get it. The makers of the Jason Bourne franchise don’t need to spend another movie showing us a bunch of suits in Washington, D.C. running around, scheming, plotting, and trying to cover their tracks. This is one of the most formulaic aspects of the Bourne series. Let’s move things along and get beyond the rats in Washington doing things they’re not supposed to while hiding behind their government security clearance. How about Jason Bourne squares off against a new enemy, or a foreign government for a change? While the actors playing the government dirt bags change, the basic premise has not and it is getting stale.

http://collider.com/the-bourne-legacy-clips-images/ Source: collider.com

6. Bring Back Pam Landy

The character of Pam Landy, as played by actress Joan Allen, was great in the last two Jason Bourne movies. She was one of the few government agents who seemed to have a conscience and she helped Jason Bourne discover his true identity and regain some semblance of his past. Pam Landy was also tough as nails and stood up to the government baddies who were hellbent on taking Bourne out before he could expose the Treadstone program. Landy was sorely missed in the latest entry in the Bourne franchise and without her, the movie seemed to be missing something. Jason Bourne needs an ally, and it would be great to see Landy resurface to help him in a future film.

Source: Universal Pictures

5. Reveal More Of Bourne’s Assassin “Powers”

One of the fun things about the first Bourne movie was that we got to watch as Jason Bourne discovered that he was an assassin. We watched as Matt Damon’s character realized he could scale the side of buildings, excelled at hand-to-hand combat, could strip a gun apart in three seconds flat, and drive a car like Gene Hackman in The French Connection. Since then, we haven’t really been treated to any new discoveries as far as Jason Bourne’s assassin abilities. Wouldn’t it be cool to see Bourne discover that he speaks Mandarin, or can expertly hack a computer? What if he were to realize he is an expert marksman?  This kind of discovery would help to reinvigorate the franchise.

Source: Universal Pictures

4. Stop Saying “That’s Jason Bourne!”

In every single Jason Bourne movie, someone in the government sees Matt Damon on a grainy security camera and then exclaims: “That’s Jason Bourne!” What follows is usually a flurry of typing on computer keyboards and some bureaucrat barking orders like “I want eyes on every street corner in a five mile radius” or “Find a new gear, people.” This has become one of the most tired and clichéd aspects of the Bourne franchise. Let’s just cut that part out of the films from here on out. Better yet, let’s assume that everyone knows who Jason Bourne is and recognizes him when they see him. Even better still, how about people seem unsurprised when they see him on a black and white surveillance camera: “Oh, look. It’s Jason Bourne. Again.”

https://www.yahoo.com/movies/thats-jason-bourne-meme-becomes-possibly-more-popular-than-the-movie-that-spawned-it-185630843.html Source: Yahoo

3. More Exotic Locations

2007’s The Bourne Ultimatum, featured one of the best locales in the series – Tangiers. Remember the rooftop chase? It was pretty awesome. And what made it so cool was that Tangiers seemed like such an exotic and foreign location. When was the last time you saw any movie set there? Never, right? What would really help to make this franchise exciting again would be if the producers set some of the movie in really far off, weird locations. Las Vegas is okay, but how about New Zealand? Placing the movie, and the viewer, in a truly foreign land is fun and interesting, and it makes these movies unique. Plus, it’s kept the Bond franchise going for more than five decades!

Source: Universal Pictures

2. Break Up The Obvious Formula

By now, most fans of the Jason Bourne movies have figured out the franchise’s formula. Bourne movies feature three big action set pieces, with lots of old government bureaucrats running around jawing and young government lackeys typing on computers in-between. What was once fresh and innovative has become rote and tiresome. It’s time for the writers and director Paul Greengrass (the closest thing to a franchise helmer, having directed three of the five Bourne films released to date) to break things up. Surprise audiences by doing something different and less obvious. Let’s try at least four big action sequences and less government speak. And how about some people working the computers who don’t look like they just graduated from college? The formulaic nature of the films no longer feels fresh. It makes the series feel tired and bland.

Source: Universal Pictures

1. Lose The Shaky Cam

The biggest complaint of critics, and many audience members, is the shaky cam and sharp editing used during the action sequences in the Bourne films. The technique seemed new and unique in the first movie directed by Paul Greengrass, 2004’s The Bourne Supremacy. But at this point, the shaky cam is only serving to give people migraine headaches. The problem is that the action just isn’t clear enough. The shaky camera, jump cuts, and quick editing that is meant to give these movies a distinct look and feel is only serving to frustrate and alienate fans of the series. Go back and look at The Bourne Identity, directed by Doug Liman, and you’ll be amazed at how much clearer the action scenes are. Let’s go back to when the action was leaner, meaner, and a whole lot easier on the eyes. The shaky cam is only serving to piss everyone off at this point. Enough already!


Jack Sackman

Jack Sackman

Jack Sackman has been writing about movies and TV for Goliath since 2013.