JASON BOURNE

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So far the best action movie of the year is Paul Greengrass’s Jason Bourne. It is also probably the best edited, which is what makes it such an effective action movie. The plot is not unlike the plot of the previous Bourne films: Jason is provoked into resurfacing and starts playing cat-and-mouse with the CIA. This time the plot is wrapped in stripped-from-the-headlines events, whether it’s leakers like Snowden and Assange, austerity in Greece, or privacy-versus-security issues borne out of NSA spying and Facebook privacy settings. These topical elements are not explored in depth. Perhaps it would have made the movie more interesting if they had, but subplots are beside the point in Jason Point. The the action is the point. There are two vehicle chase sequences, one in which a SWAT van parts a sea of oncoming cars; as always the hand-to-hand combat is visceral. Lathered in intense “emotion lotion,”ie the score, Jason Bourne is an unflagging experience that works because we are able to visually track the action. The acting is also a draw. Tommy Lee Jones is funny as a CIA honcho while Alicia Vikander is interesting as his assistant, even if she totally bastardizes a Southern accent. And after Jeremy Renner had a go in The Bourne Legacy, it’s refreshing to watch Matt Damon return to play the most likable of action heroes: someone who is phlegmatic and  virtuous—even if the collateral damage he causes rivals the US’s in Syria.

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