The New Jason Bourne Movie Ruined My Childhood

The glory days of Jason Bourne (and my male privilege) are over.

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Complex Original

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I wanted to love Jason Bourne. I walked into the theater determined to have a great time, to find myself caught up once more in the franchise that has always held a special place in my heart, dating back to when I first saw The Bourne Identity, when I was a child of 18, or maybe 19. This franchise has given me literally hours of pleasure, even the regrettable installment that starred Hawkeye for some reason. But, it was with a heavy heart that I stomped out of the theater shaking my head in utter disbelief. The Social Justice Warriors, their feminist/misandrist commissars and Tumblr Martyrs Brigade have outflanked us yet again, and this time they’ve managed to choke the life out of one of our most iconic heroes. What I saw shocked me. This isn’t the Jason Bourne we grew up with in the early-to-mid 2000s. The rugged brawniness of Matt Damon’s ripped body is just another false flag, perhaps the cruelest one of all. With all due respect, this film should have been titled Jason Bourne: How Alicia Vikander Saved My Stupid Idiot Life a Bunch of Times. Fittingly, audiences may finally understand Jason Bourne’s default setting: confused and betrayed.

The world has changed since the glory days of the Bourne films. In this rampant Politically Correct society, we’ve become obsessed with not ruffling feathers and doing our best to worship at the false altar of inclusion and equality. Yes, it’s been a while since Jason Bourne has captivated us, so perhaps it’s easy for slightly younger millennials to remember, but the Bourne films had it all. That moron Jack Reacher has nothing on this guy. There was action! There were weird conspiracies! There were various Assistant Directors of the CIA or NSA (or whatever) always up to something nefarious! There was Matt Damon running! Punching, kicking, secrets, revelations! Many of my most precious memories directly or tangentially involve the Bourne franchise, such as the time my father was watching the original film when it was on TNT or possibly TBS and I happened to be in the room and sort of watched it with him. Or the time I got into a heated argument with an ex-lover about whether Brian Cox was Scottish or Irish and then someone else mentioned he was in the Bourne movies and we were like yeah, that’s true.  

This new film showed promise early on when Matt Damon punched a guy really hard but that good will was shattered when the film quickly affirms its commitment to actually be about a polite intra-office power struggle between Tommy Lee Jones and Alicia Vikander, who, in a sick turn of events, is revealed to be the real star of the film.

Yes, you read that correctly! Jason Bourne, our beloved spy or assassin or whatever he was (it’s been so long I can’t quite recall), has a total of perhaps thirty lines of dialogue and I don’t remember most of them because I was often talking to a fellow white male seated close to me saying things such as “Is nothing sacred?” and the man would look at me and not respond most times. Anyway, Vikander is some sort of extremely beautiful CIA cyber-crime hacker expert who is determined to bring Jason Bourne back into the fold, despite the grumpy exhortations of an extremely rumpled and barely conscious Tommy Lee Jones, who just wants to kill Bourne, like any decent antagonist would. But no, Vikander isn’t an antagonist! She’s the hero! Jason Bourne asks a bunch of questions and hits some people, but he really doesn’t even have to be in this movie! It makes me miss the halcyon days of the third Bourne movie (whichever one that was) where Bourne does that extremely cool thing and kills a dude in a really impressive way. But this? No, it’s all boring flashbacks and brusque buffoonery. Vikander steals every scene, much to my chagrin. This is a typical power move by the liberal Hollywood elites. Mark my words, the next Bourne film will be called The Bourne Female Privilege, and it’ll be about how terrible it is when Jason Bourne open doors for ladies! 

But back to Vikander. She wears office appropriate clothing throughout the entire film, including one scene that features a sweater! While every single male character of this film grumbles and makes countless idiotic decisions, Vikander is in complete control, a dignified and elegant presence whose character weds compassion and ambition in a compelling rejoinder to the comfort of previous Bourne Gals, like the one that girl who died four movies ago and Julia Stiles, who never seemed quite all there. Those were Bourne Girls of a simpler time, before the time of Male Allies and everyone suddenly being “Woke,” whatever that means. 

Vikander’s presence in this film has destroyed the legacy of this once proud masculine franchise. How are we supposed to forget that Bourne probably would get killed eight or nine times without Vikander’s help? How are we supposed to reconcile our childhood memories of 2002 Matt Damon with the lumpish disinterested beta-male limping across the screen while Vikander’s steely demeanor and quiet strength obliterates everything that stands before her? What kind of sick world do we live in, I ask you, when some 27-year-old European woman is by far the most interesting and compelling part of our most patriotic franchise since the Jarhead movie(s)? I don’t want to have to raise my four-year-old son Godfrey III in that kind of world. After the film, he asked me “Papa, must I now be indoctrinated into that shambolic Ivy League campus cult of third-wave feminism?” I choked back tears and told him I didn’t even know anymore.

Memo to my fellow proud straight men: boycott Jason Bourne unless you are prepared to witness how great and inspiring Alicia Vikander is and how she just oozes a delightfully undeniable charisma.

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