Jason Bourne is back, and if you’re a fan of the franchise (or of lazy pun headlines), that’s a good thing. Jason Bourne is more of the same: more surreptitious CIA scheming, more swiftly-edited handheld action setpieces, more extraneous characters getting shot by ruthless snipers. The plot’s a little thin – as you’d expect given the decisiveness of The Bourne Ultimatum’s conclusion – requiring more than a few contrivances to get Mister Bourne back into the thick of things.
Personally, I’ve also been a Bourne agnostic; I really dug the first film, but the best things about it – Damon’s boyish charm, the chemistry between him and Franka Potente, the slender sense of hope – were bled out of the subsequent sequels. If you’re looking for humanity, there’s little on display here, but there is an impressive action sequence staged amidst a fervent Greek anti-capitalist protest to balance that somewhat.
If you’re not already on the Bourne bandwagon, this is unlikely to turn you around. It does at least boast a strong performance from Joan Allen stand-in Alicia Vikander; despite struggling with a dubious accent, she sells an ambiguous mix of empathy and ambition and keeps things interesting even as they feel increasingly familiar.