(US - 2016)
Directed by Paul Greengrass. Written by Paul Greengrass and Christopher Rouse. Cast: Matt Damon, Tommy Lee Jones, Alicia Vikander, Vincent Cassel, Julia Stiles, Riz Ahmed, Bill Camp, Ato Essandoh, Gregg Henry, Scott Shepherd, Vincenz Kiefer, Stephen Kunken. (PG-13, 123 mins)
After sitting out 2012's disappointing THE BOURNE LEGACY--the TOKYO DRIFT of the BOURNE franchise--star Matt Damon and director Paul Greengrass return for the fifth entry, JASON BOURNE (they really should've called it BOURNE AGAIN). It's been nine years since THE BOURNE ULTIMATUM, and the Damon-Greengrass duo basically stick to the formula, opting to not fix what isn't broken and, naturally, including a new closing credits remix of Moby's "Extreme Ways." Not participating is screenwriter Tony Gilroy, a key component to the success of the first three films who failed to find a spark when he was promoted to director in Greengrass' stead for LEGACY. Greengrass' hyper-kinetic, shaky-cam style is, for better or worse, so inextricably linked with the BOURNE franchise that it's easy to forget he wasn't involved with 2002's THE BOURNE IDENTITY and only came onboard when Doug Liman (SWINGERS, GO) wasn't invited back for 2004's THE BOURNE SUPREMACY after clashing with Universal on the first film. Gilroy's focus on exposition and dialogue turned LEGACY into a bit of a bore, and without his presence here, Greengrass has taken over scripting duties for the first time on a BOURNE film. It's telling that he shares credit with his usual editor and first-time screenwriter Christopher Rouse, who won an Oscar for his editing work on ULTIMATUM. With that in mind, the focus is on action, with many of the more intricate details of plot, characterization and motivation left fuzzy, probably because that just isn't their chief concern. Trotting all over the globe at a breakneck pace, JASON BOURNE keeps your attention and is a definite improvement over THE BOURNE LEGACY, whose existence it completely ignores, but there's no denying that the freshness is waning and that neither Damon nor Greengrass seem as inspired this time out.