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'Jason Bourne' survives 'Legacy' to kill again
Whats in with Justin
Gritty action takes center stage in "Jason Bourne," but the plot survives. - photo by Studio photo

In 2007 at the end of "The Bourne Ultimatum," Matt Damon went on the run again after bringing down a deadly government program of assassins. He became a free man.

Well, it wasn’t quite the end of Bourne as he’s back again in "Jason Bourne." This fifth installment makes a refreshing return to the first three movies and nearly wipes out all memory of "The Bourne Legacy."

Damon is once again back as Bourne. This time he’s off the grid in Greece, eking out a living as a bare-knuckle fighter. It’s not long before his old comrade Nicky Parsons (Julia Stiles) tracks him down with news of his past. Just when he thought he was out, they pull him back in.

Tommy Lee Jones costars as the new director of the CIA who urges his agency to track down Bourne and make him obsolete. Vincent Cassel is a rogue assassin, known as The Asset, who tries to make that happen. With a name like The Asset, the franchise is borderline close to self-parody, but Cassel pulls off the performance with enough intensity and prowess to match Bourne himself.

Bourne isn’t alone in trying to stay one step ahead. Oscar winner Alicia Vikander stars as an agent who tries to earn Bourne’s trust, but I think considering everything Bourne has been through it’s pretty hard to earn it.

Director Paul Greengrass of "Supremacy" and "Ultimatum" once again brings his shaky camera work to the forefront and there are a couple of sensationally executed sequences. The best being the climax, in which Bourne and The Asset are having a car chase through the bright lights of Las Vegas. I thought it was impossible to top the New York chase in "Ultimatum," but Greengrass and crew have done it.

I felt everything was wrapped up in a thoroughly satisfying conclusion at the end of the third installment, but the filmmakers are able to introduce an element of emotional gravity that makes another story worth telling. Damon is once again in prime form with his stoic presence and silent-but-deadly demeanor. The rest of the cast delivers fine work as well, particularly Jones’ deadpan presence in contrast to the more self-consciously serious Damon.

Normally, I think a franchise is pretty much exhausted of its possibilities by this point, but I may be in the minority in saying that I wouldn’t mind seeing Damon come back one more time.

Grade: B+

(Rated PG-13 for intense sequences of violence and action, and brief strong language.)

Hall is a syndicated columnist in South Georgia.

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