Weekend Forecast for July 29-31, 2016
By Reagen Sulewski
July 29, 2016
In the long view of July going into the month, a lot of people had circled this weekend on the calendar thanks to a film that was a bit of a long shot to ever happen. Getting the gang back together has had mixed success so far this summer, but this weekend's entry has a better chance than most.
After three main films and a spinoff, it looked like the Bourne franchise was done, thanks to a stated disinterest in continuing it from its lead actor. Indeed, after The Bourne Ultimatum gave us what looked like the neat little bow tie on the franchise we didn't know we wanted, it didn't seem like there was a big reason to continue on with more films. However, director Paul Greengrass, he of the two best films of the series, has returned to it, bringing along Matt Damon for at least one more ride.
Unfortunately, the idea behind the film doesn't seem to be much more than “hey, let's make more Bourne films,” and whereas the first three had something to say, the Big Idea behind the eponymously named Jason Bourne is murky at best. Do we really need a fifth run through the Treadstone files, across a series of international locations? Of course there's the counter-point that why not have another awesome action movie in what's amounted to the American James Bond series, all paranoid and brutal hand-to-hand combat.
Having written out most of the heavy hitters of the previous films, we're left with Damon and Julia Stiles for continuity, with Tommy Lee Jones stepping into the role of Old White Dude With The Truth. The latest It Girl Alicia Vikander steps into a role as an analyst chasing down Bourne once he pops back up on the grid, with Vincent Cassel being one of the few other recognizable names. And thus the chase is on, with a set piece on the Las Vegas Strip being a highlight of the ads, and a noticeably bulked up and more brutal looking Bourne skulking throughout (ask our site administrator about just how close he is to perfecting Damon's one-punch knockout). What's lacking from these ads is a sense of urgency, that something vital will be revealed that changes how we think about the series so far. Ultimatum had that amazing and prescient surveillance society scene in a London Underground station that served as both action and as commentary, and I wonder what Jason Bourne can do as a film to top that.
Reviews are uncharacteristically poor compared to the rest of the series, which has to this point enjoyed great critical support, though it's mostly being hit for not covering new ground. It may lose some territory in the box office compared to the most recent Bourne film with Damon, and the lackluster and kind of pointless Bourne Legacy with Jeremy Renner probably didn't help things. In a massive 4,000 venues, I'd expect about $62 million for an opening.