Writer/helmer Tony Gilroy retools the BOURNE Franchise with more Spy vs Spy nonsense in a template that’s closer to THREE DAYS OF THE CONDOR/’75 paranoia than the existential internecine turf wars of the original trilogy. Modestly effective (if you don’t pay much attention), it loses conviction toward the end when Jeremy Renner’s chemically hyped agent heads to Manila with brainy helpmate Rachel Weisz while all those nasty CIA bigwigs remain Stateside, lying to Senate subcommittees & furiously typing on computer keyboards. Worse, the medical rationale used to fuel the plot has the rug pulled out from it just as a previously unknown Bourne 2.0 (a deus ex machina baddie) enters as delaying tactic & ‘chase bait.’ The joke in this set up (and it’s the only joke in here) is that the ‘suits’ inside the film story are trying to shut down the whole BOURNE program, just like many Universal execs must have been arguing to shut down the BOURNE Movie Franchise as having run its course. But hunger for a James Bond style franchise of never-ending profits won out. The film, neither hit nor flop, announced a sequel for 2016. The advertising tagline: There Was Never Just One, a bit specious with Matt Damon returning for another go-round.
WATCH THIS, NOT THAT: THE BOURNE SUPREMACY/’04 is probably the best of the Doug Liman/Paul Greengrass trilogy with Matt Damon. Still, you’d be a bit lost without first seeing BOURNE IDENTITY/’02; and unfulfilled without BOURNE ULTIMATUM/’07.