You can’t keep a good spy down – just ask James Bond. Attempting to beat that super-spy’s record is the Jason Bourne series which began with ‘The Bourne Identity’ in 2002. Based on Robert Ludlum’s book, the film met with great success and has seen it reach its fourth sequel in ‘Jason Bourne’. After sitting out the series with the last entry, Matt Damon returns as the mysterious agent eternally searching for his identity amidst a myriad of explosions and guns.
After several years of laying low from his pursuers, former rogue agent Jason Bourne (Matt Damon) resurfaces. With his friend Nicky (Julia Stiles) in tow, he faces a new set of challenges including a program devised by the CIA to re-capture him set up by shady CIA Director Dewey (Tommy Lee Jones). Events rapidly escalate with new threats to the world order ramping up the pressure on Bourne to escape his latest predicaments.
‘Jason Bourne’ sets out to re-connect the series with its fans after ‘The Bourne Legacy’s lacklustre showing. Whilst the previous sequel tried something new, it is Jason Bourne audiences want to see. They receive plenty of his stylised action as filmed with kinetic intensity by director Paul Greengrass. From the first frame ‘Jason Bourne’ never rests as the film and character run a speedy pace towards a typically fiery climax. Whilst the simplistic plot is missing some of the series’ impact, it is good seeing Damon return to a franchise he definitely owns.
Occasionally Greengrass’ frantic direction detracts from completely enjoying the film. This is especially true during the action sequences which are edited within an inch of their lives leaving little room for them to breathe. It’s difficult seeing what’s exactly happening even if the infamous ‘shaky-cam’ for which Greengrass is known is generally well utilised. Damon effortlessly slips into his role with the high calibre cast doing much with the thinly written script.
‘Jason Bourne’ is a decent entry in the franchise without being ‘great’. More depth in the screenplay and better editing in the action scenes would have made for a more satisfying experience. This won’t stop the producers from milking a lucrative cash-cow with Bourne sure to return in future instalments.
Movie Review Rating out of 10: 7
Movie Review by Patrick Moore
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Patrick Moore's Movie Review is an alternative look at movie releases in Australia.