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Jason Bourne - Movie Review

5 stars

The world is chock full of franchises in this day and age. We have seen the sequel proliferate to the point that it is THE business practice of every studio in Hollywood—it’s their bread and butter. Films are created these days specifically in the hope that they will spawn more than a single cash grab at the box office. And we all flock to them, and they make the studios the kind of profits that propel this business model ever-forward. There are so many franchises in every genre, whether science fiction, comedy, horror or action, whatever your lean, you will have your favourite. But if one stops for a minute, honestly, how many of those sequels are ultimately worthy storytelling, like REALLY up the ante, and add something of value to repeated visits to whatever world is being sequelised? Star Wars? Not for me. Alien? No. Rambo, Lethal Weapon, Fast and the Furious? Afraid not. For this reviewer it’s a very small number that represents a series of films that never dip in quality. Is the Bourne series one of them?

It’s been 9 years since Jason Bourne discovered who he was, and our favourite amnesiac assassin went swimming off the grid at the end of The Bourne Ultimatum. Matt Damon and director Paul Greengrass (not forgetting Identity’s director Doug Liman) left behind a trilogy of films that never dipped in quality. There was a continuous narrative throughout the sequels that acted as cohesive pieces to a grand and thrilling puzzle. And they announced, despite studio business practices, that it was there they wished to stop. That the idea had played itself out, and anything further would be doing it for the sake of money. They chose to leave a good thing alone and move on to other things.

But, of course, the studio would persevere with Tony Gilmore helming a segue way starring Jeremy Renner, and that was a decent action film that complimented what had come before, but ultimately placed the Bourne series with a lot of other franchises. It went for the cash grab. And make no mistake, despite the talents of Renner and Gilroy, The Bourne Legacy was a cash grab.

When the multitudes of announcements and re-announcements had finished about what was next for the Bourne franchise, Greengrass and Damon had come up with what they viewed to be a relevant and worthy new script. They have come back to do what they do best. And Jason Bourne is back.

He’s been living off the grid, still a poster boy for loneliness and post-traumatic stress, essentially punishing himself in a life of aimless violence. Former field agent, Nicky Parsons (Julia Stiles) has become a hacker and a government malcontent, has hacked all their dirty secrets, and brought the wrath of the CIA down upon herself and Bourne. What follows is a rapid fire couple of hours where Bourne learns more about where he came from, who is responsible and what the future holds for him and the world if they’re not stopped. It’s a globe spanning, non-stop ride where Damon proves once again there is no one out there like his no-nonsense, rapid fisted Bourne. His fighting, movement, dialogue is all economical and surgical. He is ALL business, and the film’s narrative follows suit. There is nothing superfluous. And there are contemporary themes throughout dealing with the information age that mask an age-old inevitable truth: You can never stand still in a nest of vipers.

The action quota/carnage is high, the Greengrass shaky-cam is ever present but tempered a little in this one, support players are all first rate. The music, as the story, continue organically with the first three and place this one with the first three as a tight, tension filled thrill ride.

Damon and Greengrass have delivered the most intelligent, visceral action movie this reviewer has seen since The Bourne Ultimatum. They have earned the 9 year break and proved undoubtedly that waiting for a compelling story, instead of a release date, brings rewards for all.

The Bourne franchise with Matt Damon at the helm is 4 for 4. They are all as brilliant and fun as each other. There is no franchise I can name that has managed that.


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Jason Bourne - Movie Review

MPAA Rating: PG-13 for intense sequences of violence and action, and brief strong language
123 mins
: Paul Greengrass
Paul Greengrass, Christopher Rouse
Matt Damon, Tommy Lee Jones, Alicia Vikander
: Action
You know his name
Memorable Movie Quote: "The next bullet's in your head!"
Universal Pictures
Official Site: http://www.jasonbournemovie.com/
Release Date:
July 29, 2016
DVD/Blu-ray Release Date:
No details available.
Synopsis: Matt Damon returns to his most iconic role in Jason Bourne. Paul Greengrass, the director of The Bourne Supremacy and The Bourne Ultimatum, once again joins Damon for the next chapter of Universal Pictures' Bournefranchise, which finds the CIA's most lethal former operative drawn out of the shadows.


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