Sunday, May 14, 2017

Jason Bourne, the film

The television premiere of this fourth film in the Bourne series with Matt Damon aired last night.  It was released in 2016 to theaters and did well in the box office while it was received by critics with mixed reviews.   It was watched here with a combination of interest, confusion, and tedium.

The tedium came from the extended action sequences of car crashes, motorcycle chases, and fights with fists, guns, and knives.  It was frenetic as in the precious films and, if memory serves, a little more biased toward car and truck crashes.  It is assumed that piecing together the story line from the past was part of the attraction of the film to many devotees, and it was part of the effort here.  Yet, when an actual story line was followed, the film delivered on capturing the attractive aspects of this series.

Poor Nicky Parsons of the prior films was killed off early on, and the female lead became Heather Lee, played by a smartly photogenic and even tempered Alicia Vikander.  The assassin in the Bourne Ultimatum met his end here as well, eventually, after being an easy to dislike menace throughout. Tommy Lee Jones' role as the aging rough faced and corrupt CIA director also was completed.

This is the first Bourne film since 2007, which is not counting a weak substitute in 2012 with Jeremy Renner.  The story line also advanced ten years, as Bourne is pulled back from an off the grid life by Parsons, who lures him back into the spy game to deal with corruption at their heritage agency.

The development of this film suggests that another sequel is already in the mind of Paul Greengrass. Damon's co-star will surely be a more highly promoted Vikander   It will be watched whenever it comes out but one could wonder if these films can sustain their profitability given what must be substantial production costs related to the many film locations and the number of stunt men required.

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