by Bonnie Anderson and Dan Webster
If you’re a follower of the Jason Bourne (Matt Damon) thrillers, the most recent release, entitled simply, ‘Jason Bourne,’ could be a satisfying answer to questions about Jason’s past. If you are not a follower of the Jason Bourne thrillers, it is likely this film will be a “what’s going on?” experience for you.
If there’s one thing this film did was take over first place in car chases. Those scenes chalk up more collateral damage than any other car chases we’ve seen, and the motorcycle/car chase scene made us wonder why in the heck they weren’t wearing helmets. But then if you’re a rogue CIA agent with a reputation for being dangerous, undaunted and brazen… helmets? Duh. Despite all this violence, vengeful and thoughtless killing, and a pounding soundtrack, this flick was a light, very light, suspenseful story.
Jason Bourne’s identity and what brought him to the CIA agent service has been a source of curiosity for some Bourne faithful film followers. This film attempts to provide that information and the whole story line revolves around that simple fact.
Tommy Lee Jones, who plays the CIA director, is dull. Disappointing because he was SO GOOD as Sheriff Bell in Cormac McCarthy’s Academy Award winning, ‘No Country for Old Men.’ We’re sorry to say that Tommy, but we think you just weren’t given any good script material.
Jason’s painful search for the story of his father is the overshadowed subtext in this film. Look deeper and you’ll see a film that’s motivated by a message about the longing for human connection as portrayed by an unlikely renegade CIA agent, equipped with cunning, bodily strength and the knack for killing with only a moment’s hesitation.
Whether writers Paul Greengrass and Christopher Rouse intentionally interjected a spark of humility into Bourne’s character or not, to those of us who are always looking for how God acts in our lives, we saw a glimpse of God in the common element that we share as humans.
We’re connected to each other in ways subtle and evident and we long for human connections that have been lost in our lives – estranged family members, lost friends and neighbors, unknown ancestors and relatives – known to us only in stories and photographs. We are connected to others we have yet to meet. Jason Bourne is “looking for something” and so are we.
Bonnie Anderson is a very active lay leader in her parish, diocese and in the wider Episcopal Church. She is an experienced community organizer and lives in suburban Detroit. Dan Webster is an Episcopal priest in Baltimore, Maryland and a former broadcast news executive. But don’t expect only east coast urban perspectives here. As it turns out, they both grew up in Southern California. They blog about films and faith at Faith Reels