Circuit Q&A: Ranking the Bourne Series

**Circuit Q&A’s are our daily community question, posed to the readers of AwardsCircuit that cover various topics from film and television to general wonderings and for instances**

Aside from James Bond, there’s another famed spy with the initials “JB.” The Jason Bourne franchise, which is based on a series of novels by Robert Ludlum, has been a mainstay in the contemporary action genre. For today’s Q&A, we’ll be conducting a ranking of each entry from best to worst.

The Bourne Identity (2002)

The journey of the titular hero, played by Matt Damon, began with “The Bourne Identity” in 2002. When the film begins, Bourne is discovered by fishermen who nurse him back to health. He suffers from amnesia with the only clue to his memory being the numbers of a Swiss bank account. Once he tries to figure out who he is, the CIA orders a group of agents to hunt him down. The film also stars Franka Potente, Clive Owen, Chris Cooper, Julia Stiles, and Brian Cox.

The Bourne Supremacy (2004)

“The Bourne Identity” was a smash hit, grossing $214 million worldwide upon its release. So, naturally, a sequel was in order. In 2004 came “The Bourne Supremacy” which follows Bourne as he struggles to leave his troubled past behind. But when he is framed by a Russian agent for stealing from the CIA, he finds himself on the run again. “Supremacy” received a favorable critical reception while surpassing the first film’s worldwide gross, making $288 million.

The Bourne Ultimatum (2007)

Finishing out the trilogy was “The Bourne Ultimatum,” the franchise’s most successful entry to date. It not only grossed $442 million worldwide, but it won three Academy Awards: Best Film Editing, Best Sound Mixing, and Best Sound Editing. In addition, it made the National Board of Review’s list of the ten best films of 2007. “Ultimatum” finds Bourne continuing to uncover memories from his past while dodging a new CIA black ops program.

The Bourne Legacy (2012)

After the third installment, it seemed like the “Bourne” series would remain a trilogy. In an interview with Variety back in 2007, Matt Damon said, “We’ve ridden this horse as far as we can.” But with the financial success of the original three films, the creative team continued with “The Bourne Legacy” which came out in 2012. The only entry without Damon, this film features Aaron Cross (Jeremy Renner), a genetically enhanced agent on the run for his life once a black ops program he joined is eliminated. While it outdid “The Bourne Identity,” making $276 million, it still underperformed compared to ‘Ultimatum’ and ‘Supremacy.’ “The Bourne Legacy” may have shown that the Bourne movies actually require the titular character.

Jason Bourne (2016)

The latest entry in the series, “Jason Bourne” has Damon returning as the eponymous character. Once Bourne goes into hiding again, former CIA operative Nicki Parsons (Julia Stiles) draws him out by uncovering more hidden information on his past, while CIA director Robert Dewey (Tommy Lee Jones) and cybersecurity head Heather Lee (Alicia Vikander) attempt to track him down. Despite the film’s mixed reception, it still provided the best franchise results since “The Bourne Ultimatum,” grossing $415 million worldwide.

Whether a sixth film is in the works is still up in the air. Plus, whether Jeremy Renner could return is another area of skepticism. But for now, we want to know what your current ranking of the series is.

What is your ranking of the Bourne series? Please share your thoughts in the comments section!

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