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Jason Bourne review

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Jason Bourne




PG-13. 123 min





I have no idea of the exact number action heroes there are an American filmdom but the number has to be huge. It's an extremely popular genre: one tough an honorable son of a bitch against the system, whether it's your own renegade system or an evil enemy organization.


To be perfectly honest I have never read a Robert Ludlum novel so I'm not exactly tuned in to the legend of Jason Bourne. I am, however, familiar with James Bond, Jack Reacher and Uhtrid of Bebbanburg, but as to the venerable Mr Bourne all I know about him is what I've seen in a handful of films.


I'm not exactly a tabula rasa (clean slate) but all I know is that Jason Bourne was recruited by the CIA and trained as one of the most lethal killers in the organization years ago. Something (like so many films today) having to do with his father, had influenced his decision to travel that path and again to abandon it 10 years ago.


This is the vague foundation set up in this film.


We start off unfortunately with a WTF moment in which we find our hero living underground in various third-world hell holes and now all of a sudden it appears that the CIA and sophisticated tracking technology and knows exactly where he and anyone associated with him are. Nobody bothers to tell us why the agency was so clue free over the past decade but...


A woman approaches Bourne with some information concerning his paternal heritage (possibly that his old man was a Jedi Knight) but they are tracked down by a very dangerous agency operative and she winds up dead as the movie begins its lumbering ride as a never-ending chase.


And don't worry the current political climate has inspired the producers to pluck at least a couple plot devices from the toilet bowl of the news cycle. First of all there is an entrepreneurial young man who has created a wondrous internet entity that the CIA helped to fund. He soon realizes that he has made a deal with the Devil as the evil director Dewey, (Tommy Lee Jones) now expects him to allow them into the system to spy on the users supposedly for security purposes. There's also an Edward Snowden type whistleblower who, seemingly with Bourn's assistance, plans to flood the world with dirty stories of that intelligence organization. Deweys solution to these problems is just apparently to kill everybody to keep this skulduggery quiet.


Now with girl number one dead girl number two, Agent Lee (Alicia Vikander) enters the equation as a lifeline to our heros health and freedom. Maybe.


A great portion of the non-stop chase involves cars trucks motorcycles and armed vehicles careening in and out of crowded spaces miraculously without running over hundreds of people. It neither slows down to allow the plot to develop nor speeds up to the extent that it becomes exciting.


I didn't care about the internet and whistleblower dorks or their crusades and didn't really understand what Jason Bourne's father had to do with anything. Except of course that Dewey probably had him killed.


Maybe they are planning to clear that up in the inevitable sequel unless producer Matt Damon doesn't rake in enough money from this one.






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