Thursday, July 28, 2016

Jason Bourne Review - 2 Stars

Matt Damon returns as "Jason Bourne" in another adventure based on "The Bourne Identity." Fans thrilled to the original films, based on the 1980 Robert Ludlum thriller. In the original story, CIA-trained killer Bourne wakes up with amnesia, and gradually must discover his identity while fighting the many forces trying to kill him. As the film series progressed, the Bourne movies set the standard in fast-paced, quick-cut, non-stop action... so quick, that sometimes viewers who blinked, missed something. The "Bourne" series benefited from the casting of Matt Damon, who made the role his own. A few years ago, Damon said three Bourne movies were enough: He was right. The new "Jason Bourne" doesn't advance the series, because it has nowhere new to go. Bourne learns a few more things about his past and about his father's identity, but begins the movie somewhere off the grid with little explanation other than to showcase his new life as a back alley, bare knuckle boxer. Julia Stiles emerges from a previous film to access a CIA computer, setting off alarms and putting the agency on her trail (and ultimately Bourne's.) "Jason Bourne" turns into one long, non-stop, eye-popping chase with many thrilling scenes. Assassin Vincent Cassel chases Bourne at the direction of snarling CIA director Tommy Lee Jones, who has plans to start a nefarious program of his own. Jones' demeanor falls somewhere between one-note and laughable. It makes me sad to see this fine actor used so poorly. Rising star Alicia Vikander doesn't fare much better. She plays the standard issue woman, who helps Bourne from inside the CIA. A subplot involving a computer billionaire and a scheme to spy on citizens using the Internet doesn't add much more than a scene reminiscent of "The Manchurian Candidate." Director Paul Greengrass does too many things to amp up the tension - the music pounds and the action flies, but after a while, the effect is exhausting. "Jason Bourne" ends with a hint of a sequel. I hope not. Matt Damon was right: Three is plenty. "Jason Bourne" 2 stars, PG-13 for extreme violence and a shockingly high body count. Does it deliver what it promises? More Bourne, whether we want it or not. Is it entertaining? Loud, jumpy and nothing new. Is it worth the price of admission? If you must.