REVIEW | Jason Bourne (2016)

A sad-looking Bourne, still a competent fighter.

After nine years, Paul Greengrass returns to direct the fifth film in the Bourne series, and this latest installment is beautifully shot; the camera's frequent unsteadiness gives a more realistic feel to the chaos, the chase, and the violence that permeate the movie.

It's the present day and a depressed-looking and significantly aged Bourne (Matt Damon), a former CIA assassin suffering from amnesia, is off-the-grid, earning from underground fighting in Athens. When clues about his past, as well as Treadstone, his former CIA program, return to haunt him again, he becomes determined to dig deeper.

Meanwhile, CIA director Dewey (Tommee Lee Jones) and CIA super hacker Heather Lee (Alicia Vikander) chase after our hero—with their own hidden agendas.

CIA peeps keeping Bourne under surveillance (Tommee Lee Jones/Alicia Vikander).

Jason Bourne is a coherent action-packed adventure deliciously devoid of CGI effects. The skillful editing and urgent camerawork capture the characters' stress in the midst of chaos, fights, and violent car chases. The road chases are excellently shot, but somewhat longer than necessary. The cyber chase, courtesy of Lee, played by a deadpan and homely looking Vikander, is impressive.

Jason Bourne, which also touches on social media privacy, is a competently weaved simple story, but there's nothing new in this spy game, resulting in a very subdued action-suspense. Tommee Lee Jones has stronger presence than Damon, and it feels like Bourne is never really in danger, or seriously challenged, despite a rogue CIA asset (Vincent Cassel) out to pummel him to death.

The experience feels like a regular day in a CIA office addressing the problem that is Bourne. The story lacks edge-of-the-seat excitement, but the mystery of Bourne's identity, plus the lovely locations, the cyber-hacking and the overall look of the film will hold your interest until the end.  It's not a bad movie and it's still worth your time and cash—it just feels kinda old.

3 out of 5 stars
Opens July 27, 2016 in Philippine cinemas (Rated-PG)

Photo credit: United International Pictures


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