Some of the best action movies in recent years involve the character of Jason Bourne (based on the books by Robert Ludlum). Using the Audience Score (listed next to the titles below) on Rotten Tomatoes, the action movies of the Bourne franchise are ranked based on their popularity. The list of the films in order of their release is as follows: The Bourne Identity (2002), The Bourne Supremacy (2004), The Bourne Ultimatum (2007), The Bourne Legacy (2012), and Jason Bourne (2016).
Jason Bourne: 57
Everyone’s favorite trained killer comes out of hiding to uncover more conspiracies and truths about his past.
Matt Damon reprising his role as Bourne wasn’t enough to carry this heavily-panned film. What makes so many of these movies popular is the action paired with the conspiracy, and that’s exactly what this lacks. An action sequence would be followed by a long scene of people sitting at their desks. And the new conspiracy that Bourne unravels is disappointing, if not comical and out of touch.
The Bourne Legacy: 58
IMDB provides the synopsis for one of the most unpopular action movies in the Bourne franchise.
“The events in this movie take place around the same time as the events in The Bourne Ultimatum (2007). When a British reporter was writing an expose about Black Ops operations Treadstone and Black Briar, and the ones responsible for them are concerned. When the men behind Treadstone and Black Briar learn of this, they’re concerned how this will affect other ops they have. They decide it’s best to shut down all ops and make sure make everyone involved disappears.”
This is the only film in the series that doesn’t star Matt Damon. Jeremy Renner fills in as the action-lead and does a fine job. This movie is way more exciting than the previous film listed, but it failed to live up to the edge-of-your-seat intrigue that the original trilogy brought. The first three action movies were so good that a mediocre addition to the franchise was bound to disappoint.
The Bourne Supremacy: 90
Jason Bourne is forced to resume his former life as a trained killer when he is framed for a CIA mission that went askew.
This was the sequel to the original and it is nearly just as popular. The first three movies are definitely the most popular out of the franchise. In fact, the only titles on this list that received low scores were the two installments that came after the original trilogy. TimeOut describes why this is one of the best action movies featuring Jason Bourne.
“In his Hollywood debut, ‘Bloody Sunday’ director and acclaimed documentarian Greengrass proves himself equally adept at action… Like Bourne himself, this is clinically ruthless in approach: a relentlessly paced, non-stop chase movie that culminates in a breathless foot and car pursuit across a frozen Moscow. The ending sets up a third. On the strength of this, it would be most welcome.”
The Bourne Ultimatum: 91
Jason Bourne searches for the origins of his life as a trained killer while avoiding ruthless CIA agents.
This was the last film of the original trilogy, and it could easily be argued to be the best Jason Bourne movie. It was considered one of the best action movies of 2007 and this installment is the highest-ranked among critics. The trilogy gained popularity because their storylines were edgier and more controversial than other espionage movies, and that is very evident in this addition.
The Bourne Identity: 93
A wounded man is rescued by fishermen. When he awakes he suffers from amnesia and must figure out who he is. As he tries to piece together his life, he is hunted by assassins.
It’s no surprise that this is the audiences’ favorite film out of the entire series. Before this film, no one really considered Matt Damon to be a tough-guy actor, but he certainly did an amazing job convincing them that he indeed is. When this gritty thriller debuted, it breathed new life into the genre of action movies.
[Featured Image by Universal Pictures]