August 3, 2016
The government is ruthless in its never-ending quest to expand its powers through the collection of your personal information. Should you have the gall to expose the government’s scheme, you’ll be assassinated on a whim.
At least that was the impression I got, walking out of the latest Bourne movie.
So, Bourne is back. Bush is gone. We, therefore, have a fresh new US government for Bourne to go after. (Would it really be too much to ask for Jason Bourne to kill some terrorists in Syria? He can kill trained CIA agents with ball-point pens and rolled up newspapers, for God’s sake.)
Bourne opens with a government official sitting down with your stand-in Silicon Valley tech CEO, requesting a “back door” into his social media network for the purposes of national security. The tech CEO denies the request, replying, “Privacy is freedom. Privacy is everything”.
The plot (without giving anything away) is tightly wound around the NSA’s mass collection of metadata – the ones leaked to the public in 2013 by Edward Snowden. Bourne’s overarching theme is the balance between personal privacy and national security.
You could almost hear Rand Paul tearing up in the background. There’re no two ways about it, the antagonist of this film is the government. The main agent sent after Bourne is only ever referred to as, “the asset.” A clever move on the filmmaker’s part as it maintains focus on the government itself as the villain.
Bourne undoubtedly has a libertarian vibe to it. I haven’t seen a room full of liberals like Paul Greengrass and Matt Damon this concerned about individual freedom since… Come to think of it, it’s never happened.
In fact, it’s rather odd that Matt Damon, who’s so far spent 4 movies being hunted by his own government, would advocate for that same government to confiscate everyone’s firearms in “one fell swoop”.
Politics aside, this film recycles the tried-and-true tropes seen throughout the series. The thrilling car chases, hand-to-hand combat and big city sleuthing are all enough to keep you well-entertained throughout the film’s duration.
Aside from the focus on expanding government surveillance programs, there’s nothing new in this film. If you enjoyed the last ones, you’ll have a great time with this one.
I just wish Hollywood liberals’ political views would be a little more consistent, and a little less like Paul Greengrass’s shaky, shaky cam.