If I am going to watch a very long car chase, then I need to care who “wins.” And in this wretched film, I didn’t. I didn’t care during the drone attack, the wolf attack the this attack and the that attack.
Tony Gilroy has found out what happens when he makes a Bourne film without a) Paul Greengrass [whom he apparently loathes] and without, um, b) Matt Damon. What happens? Not much. And not much that is good and original (the good bits are not very good, and also are not original. The original bits – with the exception of the attempted murder/rescue at the house – are not very good.
There are plot holes you could drive any number of hi-jacked police cars through. In the first films there are plot holes too, but the makers of those earnt a pass through deft characterisation, directing and writing. Not here.
The thing that drove the first three films – Bourne’s quest for not just his identity but redemption – is missing here. Bourne does things in the films (and in the first book) that are “stupid” in terms of survival/escape because he has other more important things than his mere survival on his mind (no spoilers, but the penultimate scene of Bourne Supremacy still brings tears to my eyes, no matter how many times I’ve seen it.)
The cute bit – that Aaron Cross (Jeremy Renner) joined the Programme to get smart – is not enough to humanise him. Neither he nor Rachel Weisz’s scientist character seem at all bothered that they’ve been doing lots of wetwork. And if they’re not going to have even qualms, let alone empathy, for the people on the receiving end of the Empire, why am I supposed to care whether they themselves get waxed? I’ll watch a redemption play. I won’t watch an escapade.