*SPOILERS! SPOILERS! SPOILERS!*
I’m going to go into spoilers for Jason Bourne so only read if you have seen the movie. Here’s the link to the non-spoiler review: http://www.supermassivefilmstuff.com/?p=105
Also bear with me: I am an aspiring screenwriter and I thought I would give a few story ideas/changes just for laughs. I fully expect laughs, but any feedback is more than welcome.
Jason Bourne was a solid action film with a rehashed plot that dragged it down. It felt like the film took the winning formula of the past Bourne Trilogy and simply inserted new characters in the same roles.
Jason Bourne added Tommy Lee Jones (As Director Dewey) and Vincent Cassel (As the Asset) in the villain roles. Both are great actors, but here they are simply variations of the Brian Cox and Clive Owen/Karl Urban/Edgar Ramirez roles. They tried to change it by giving the villains a link to Bourne’s past: They killed his father. But this basically switched out Franka Potente’s role in The Bourne Supremacy with Daddy Bourne. Granted, revenge has always been a favorite plot of mine, but it’s been done already.
The only new character that was really compelling was Alicia Vikander’s Heather Lee. The CIA analyst was simply “playing the game” of espionage the film world CIA has become known for. I liked how she started out as a variation of Julia Stiles’ Nicky, but eventually showed a more savvy and ambitious side. After Bourne eliminates Jones’ Director Dewey, she angled for the position and attempted to use Bourne as an asset.
I didn’t view her as a villain at all. Just a real woman that tried to get ahead. That world had multiple shades of grey, deception and death so Lee simply adapted to it. When you look back at the other films, most of the characters were either squarely evil or good. You might disagree, but look back: Brian Cox was a bad guy. Joan Allen was essentially good. Lee blurs the lines for the first time in this world’s CIA.
For me, Lee was a kind of “changing of the guard” with the Bourne Universe’s CIA. Dewey, the Asset, and even Bourne represented the old guard. Brainwashed assassins, old men who wielded power like a hammer, and the murders of those that get in the way…all things that made the world distrust the CIA. At the end of Jason Bourne, Lee said she knew how to handle Kalloor (Riz Ahmed), the social media mogul that tried to pull out of being a vehicle for government surveillance. She knew that the
And that plot about the platform being used to spy on people: It dragged the film down. The previous films had good, deliberately told spy stories, but this was the first time I got bored.
Here’s what I would have changed: Make it about Bourne’s survival.
I would have eliminated Tommy Lee Jones’ character. Even though I enjoyed his character, there was really no need for him or the over arching CIA story line. This would also have eliminated the need for the government surveillance through technology. People wanted to see Bourne, not that story.
So who would I have focused on? Vincent Cassel’s Asset.
The Asset’s original motivation against Bourne was very intriguing. He was captured and tortured because Bourne revealed the secrets behind Treadstone. The Asset viewed him as a traitor. Bourne was the target of revenge this time around…the film should have stuck with that.
Bourne was living off the grid as he was in the other films, still haunted by the fragments of a past he still didn’t understand. Making amends was a huge theme in Supremacy. Seeing Bourne go up against a man who has good reason to kill him would have been amazing and would have utilized Vincent Cassel in a much better way.
Think about it: Bourne and the Asset were polar opposites in the film. Bourne was struggling with his past and what he had done. The Asset thought of himself as a patriot and was completely comfortable with what he did. The film tried to make the Asset more than just a Clive Owen/Karl Urban/Edgar Ramirez clone and failed. Maybe this would have worked better.
Nicky could learn that the Asset, a rogue CIA agent, was looking for Bourne, having left a trail of dead in his wake. She could have warned him, not die and aided him in his escape.
Now, I would NOT make Nicky a love interest…there’s no need for that. I was not a fan of The Bourne Ultimatum’s hinting that there could be something more to them, so I would simply keep Nicky as a voice of reason. Remember, in Jason Bourne, Nicky wanted to help him. Bourne was in a bad place when she found him. She could let him know that there was more to his life than just surviving. He couldn’t hid from his past, he had to confront it.
Bourne could have struggled about how to deal with the Asset. Should he kill him? Did Bourne deserve this? The Asset could taunt Bourne, saying that if he is trying to atone, he should just let him kill him.
As a side note, don’t view this as a desire for more dialogue. I loved that Bourne and Cassel barely said a word. They were spies after all…they specialized in subtlety.
I would keep Alicia Vikander’s Lee as an up and coming analyst in the CIA who aids the Asset and Bourne. Maybe she is playing both men to see which would be a better Asset for her. She could have dropped hints to each that would tantalize them: For Bourne, his past. For the Asset, the location of Bourne. And I would always hide that Lee was aiding the Asset until the end.
The film would still be a chase film, just with the Asset always chasing Bourne. Bourne could have seeked Nicky’s help this time. She could have instilled some sense of self-worth in Bourne. The ending would still be the same: Bourne kills the Asset. But instead of killing the Asset out of revenge, he did it out of survival, a sense of newfound purpose due to Nicky’s influence. He could still outsmart Lee the same way, setting her up to be a villain for any future Bourne films.
So that was my take on it. It was a bit haphazard and a bit less planned than I would like, but hopefully I was somewhat clear. Don’t get me wrong; I’m not saying I would have done it better than the writers of the film. This was simply a story that I would like to see.
I fully expect an expletive filled comment section soon.