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Running Time:
2 hours, 3 minutes

Rating: PG-13 Parents Strongly Cautioned.

Rating Explanation:
for intense sequences of violence and action, and brief strong language

Jimmy's Buzz Guide Review:
Made with a palpable sense of urgency, this tense, propulsive film is a model of what mainstream entertainment can be like when everything goes right.

Additional Info:
Matt Damon ... Jason Bourne
Tommy Lee Jones ... CIA Director Robert Dewey
Alicia Vikander ... Heather Lee
Vincent Cassel ... Asset
Julia Stiles ... Nicky Parsons
Riz Ahmed ... Aaron Kalloor
Ato Essandoh ... Craig Jeffers
Bill Camp ... Malcolm Smith
Vinzenz Kiefer ... Christian Dassault
Stephen Kunken ... Baumen
Scott Shepherd ... Director NI Edwin Russell

Jason Bourne

When the film opens, Jason Bourne (Matt Damon) is living under the grid, making ends meet by grimly using his skills in underground fight clubs. At one of them in Athens, he’s approached by Nicky Parsons (Julia Stiles), the former CIA technician who’s become a source of information for a Wikileaks-style operation regarding CIA black ops. She tells Bourne about the real work of his father Richard Wells (Gregg Henry) and the facts behind his death. But while they try to evade capture during a riot in the Greek capital, Nicky is killed by an assassin known only as The Asset (Vincent Cassel), sent by CIA head Robert Dewey (Tommy Lee Jones) to eliminate the threat to the agency both she and Bourne pose.

But Bourne escapes with the encrypted files Parsons has provided, and he’s soon off first to Berlin to meet with Parsons’ confederate Christian Dassault (Vinzenz Kiefer), and then to London and Las Vegas, to discover the identities of those responsible for his father’s death and his own misery. Along the way other characters pop into the action—Dewey’s more modern but very ambitious aide Heather Lee (Alicia Vikander); Malcolm Smith (Bill Camp), the English doctor who served as young Bourne’s supervisor; and Aaron Kalloor (Riz Ahmed), a Silicon Valley mogul who’s played ball with Dewey’s surveillance efforts in the past but is now balking at the director’s more expansive plans—and who becomes the focus of a scene that might make you remember the finale of The Manchurian Candidate.

Director Paul Greengrass ("Captain Phillips") a brilliantly constructed narrative; the story merely does the job, and frankly the connecting links, in which characters walk through corridors, down alleys and across streets to catch (or evade) others, sometimes seem interminable. What sets the film apart are the action sequences, in which manages to tie the strands of the scenario together with exceptional clarity and the necessary modicum of plausibility.

The entire Athenian episode is a particularly exciting sequence, long but brilliantly constructed and realized. A second—set in the streets of London—isn’t as impressive, but solid nonetheless. It’s unfortunate that the culminating chase through the streets of Las Vegas is the weakest, going on too long and coming off, for the most part, like something one might expect in any chase movie. It does have one nice touch, though, when The Asset, driving a SWAT vehicle, doesn’t try to avoid traffic but simply sweeps it aside, the cars pushed up like waves being roiled by a passing shark. It’s the kind of moment that can raise your spirits even as the sequence otherwise grinds on, ending with a fight scene that exponentially tops those underground bouts we saw at the beginning.

This latest Bourne movie doesn’t break much new ground, but it’s a solid, reasonably exciting film that provides its eponymous, amnesiac hero with some definitive answers about how he became one of the CIA’s most efficient secret operatives. Of course, getting those answers is no walk in the park.

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