Friday, July 29, 2016

Jason Bourne [2016]

MPAA (PG-13)  CNS/USCCB (A-III)  ChicagoTribune (3 Stars) (2 Stars)  AVClub (C)  Fr. Dennis (3 1/2 Stars)

IMDb listing
CNS/USCCB (K. Jensen) review
ChicagoTribune (M. Phillips) review (B. Tallerico) review
AVClub (K. Rife) review  

Call Jason Bourne [2016] (directed and screenplay cowritten by Paul Greengrass along with Christopher Rouse based on characters from the Bourne Novels by Robert Ludlum [wikip] [GR] [IMDb]) "The Bourne Replacement(s): The Rise of the Millennials" ;-).

Heck, even one of those pesky computer savvy Millennials, CIA Cyber-Ops head Heather Lee (played quite convincingly by Alicia Vikaner) shares with Jason Bourne (played again as from the film franchise's beginning by Matt Damon), right there behind his shoulder, some of the film's promotional posters ;-).  (The other significant Millennial in the story is a very well (even _bravely_) crafted character named Aaron Kalloor (played by Riz Ahmed) the founder / CEO of a 1.5 billion user-strong Facebook-like social media platform called Deep Dream). 

Poor previously brain-washed ("for the sake of the country") late baby-boomer / genX-er Jason Bourne is still trying to figure out who he really is / was.  He gets some help early-on in the story from his similarly-aged former handler Nicky Parsons (played by Julia Stiles) who with help of an Anonymous-like hackers' collective operating out of Reykjavik, Iceland hacks the CIA's files about the super-secret super-Assassin program Operation Treadstone (which "created" poor Jason) as well as its successor programs right up to its most recent incarnation called Iron Hand.  Nicky then seeks to meet him in Athens, Greece (which proves to be in the midst of Benghazi-like chaos), while "late greatest generation" /  "early baby-boomer" aged CIA director Robert Dewey (played by Tommy Lee Jones) on advice of young sprightly (millennial aged) CIA Cyber-Ops head Heather Lee sends another "Bourne aged" Agency "Asset" super-assassin (played by Vincent Cassell) to intercept them.  And so it's "game on" from there... with the story passing through Berlin, Washington and finally ending with chase sequence in Las Vegas that would be _very hard_ to "stay" in Las Vegas ;-)

As has been the case already in the previous Bourne films, the Viewer is starkly presented with at least THE POTENTIAL of the intelligence agencies of our time, from creating super-assassins like Jason Bourne or "the Asset" hunting him, to a surveillance state which allows the feeds from  EVERY random "traffic cam" / "surveillance cam" installed across the _entire_ "free world" to be called-up and viewed by CIA HQ at Langley at will.

But what really fascinated me in this film was the "multi-generational battle" that was taking place with the "Old Guard" represented by TLJ's aging CIA director Robert Dewey willing to use / dispose of Matt Damon's Jason Bourne and even the Bourne aged "Asset" that Dewey sends out to kill him, preferring to work-with / hand-over the reins of power to the Millennials represented by Vikaner's spritely CIA Cyber Ops head Heather Lee and Riz Ahmed's private sector tech-guru Aaron Kalloor.

THIS IS NOT THE FIRST MOVIE that has suggested this dynamic with the "Greatest Generation / Early Babyboomer" generation preferring _their grandchildren_ (the Millennials) to their children (the late Babyboomers / GenXers).   The Noah Baumbach directed, Ben Stiller / Naomi Watts vs. Adam Driver / Amanda Seyfried starring dramedy While We're Still Young [2014] made a similar point.

Anyway, the "even _now_ trying to figure out who he actually is" Jason Bourne becomes an interesting symbol for that late-boomer / GenX generation (of which, I'm actually part ;-)

Good to great and certainly though-provoking job!

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