Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Bourne Again

Matt Damon reprises his role as the CIA’s most wanted rogue assassin-turned-fugitive and all-around don’t-mess-with-me badass Jason Bourne in the self-titled fifth installment of the alpha male action spy series (the fourth if you discount ‘The Bourne Legacy,’ which featured a different protagonist played by Jeremy Renner) based on the popular novels of Robert Ludlum.  With Paul Greengrass (‘The Bourne Supremacy’ and ‘The Bourne Ultimatum’) back in the director’s chair, ‘Jason Bourne’ promises to be another suspense-packed, exciting and violent chapter in Jason Bourne’s life as well as the sinister and unaccountable black program that spawned him and those like him in the name of safeguarding our “national security.”
It’s been 14 years since Doug Liman’s ‘The Bourne Identity,’ which begs the oft-used sports question: “Does Bourne have any gas left in the tank? “  Worry not Bourne fans, the ex-Assassin with amnesia is still as kick-ass as ever as he proved in the movie’s opening scene, making a living “off the grid” by competing in anonymous fight clubs beating down other alpha males in a primeval contest of who’s King of the friggin' Jungle.  Alas, he gets pulled back into the spy-vs-spy world he hoped he left behind for good when ex-CIA operative Nicky Parsons (Julia Stiles) from ‘The Bourne Ultimatum’ uncovered the resurrection of Treadstone/Blackbriar and needed her ass saved, I mean, his help.
JB is similar to all the previous installments (including ‘The Bourne Legacy’) in one important aspect: it is essentially a chase movie at heart.  Once again, top CIA movers-and-shakers mark this “one man army” for immediate termination and send wet work specialists to do the job, only to epically fail in the attempt.  The players may change but the result remains the same.  This time, the governmental villains are Tommy Lee Jones as an unscrupulous old-school CIA director spouting the usual "the ends justify the means" bullshit, the lovely Alicia Vikander as a rising young star in the CIA who “volunteered” to help capture or kill Bourne and Vincent Cassel as the “Asset,” a Blackbriar operative who had a personal score to settle with Bourne and wanted him dead 10 times over.  Despite its familiarity to the other Bourne movies, I can’t help but give this latest entry top marks because it managed to be another gritty hard-hitting thriller in which there’s never a dull moment.  Besides, I love the chaotic close-up shifty-cam jumpy quick-cut action sequences that have become a mainstay of the Bourne series.  Seriously.

Grade: A 

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