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Jason Bourne: a solid action film that suffers from overfamiliarity

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There have been very few action films in the last 10 or so years that have been more influential than The Bourne Trilogy. Starting in 2002 and ‘ending’ in 2007, The Bourne Trilogy raised the bar for action thrillers and cemented itself as one of the most complete trilogies in recent memory. So when it was announced that star Matt Damon and Paul Greengrass, director of Bourne Supremacy and Ultimatum, would come back for a fourth outing, many questioned whether it was really necessary. So here we are in 2016 with the latest installment Jason Bourne, which although not on par with its predecessors, is still an enjoyably solid action film.

Since finally learning about who he is and his role in the shady Treadstone operation, Jason Bourne has been in hiding and we find him at the beginning of the film earning money through local fights. It is clear that Bourne is still haunted by his past and soon enough his past catches up with him through Nicky Parsons (Julia Stiles) who discovers some vital information connected to Bourne. Inevitably, the CIA quickly become involved and Bourne once again finds himself pitted against his former employers.

Sounds familiar right? Well, that’s because it is. Once again, a lot of the screen time is spent with people looking at a number of computer screens and talking through headsets (surely there’s a drinking game to be made out of this). Unfortunately, the familiarity of the narrative is what prevents Jason Bourne from being a great addition to the series, as opposed to just being good. The action sequences, as usual, are on point, with the motorcycle chase through a rioting Athens proves just as thrilling as those from its predecessors.

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Furthermore, Damon proves why he’s a bona-fide star with another terrific performance, despite only having a total of 25 lines! The supporting cast, however, aren’t given much to do, with the exception of French actor Vincent Cassel, whose character is slightly more fleshed out and interesting than the rest. It’s just a shame that the talented Cassel’s character is given as much screen time as his history with Bourne would have made for a different and possibly more memorable film.

Overall, Jason Bourne is a solid, if unremarkable, addition to the Bourne universe which still manages to entertain, despite lacking a true sense of purpose. But please Universal, just move on. Don’t ruin what is already great.

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