I've always enjoyed the original "Bourne" films. I may not have found them to be particularly great, but they were rather entertaining with their intriguing stories and insane action sequences. There's certainly no doubt that they've been a massive hit with critics and audiences alike, that is, until they made a futile effort to switch the main character for "The Bourne Legacy." Luckily, the lesson was quickly learned, causing the studio to go back to basics (i.e. bringing back Matt Damon and director Paul Greengrass).
The simply-titled "Jason Bourne" looked like it had everything going for it. Aside from getting the band back together, the trailers made it seem like it would be a fun ride in the vein of the classic trilogy. However, with the first critical reactions having hit the net, it would appear that things didn't go as smoothly as one would hope.
On Rotten Tomatoes, there are a total of 27 reviews at the time of this article, with 17 fresh and 10 rotten (63%), and a score of 5.9/10. Let's take a quick look at a few examples:
"Technically and logistically, Greengrass delivers everything you expect from him; there's no one better when it comes to staging complex, chaotic action amid the real life of big cities." - Todd McCarthy, Hollywood Reporter
"Just as the initial Damon-driven trilogy wrapped up Bourne's business but left us wanting more, this sequel offers closure even as it entices us with the possibility of his return." - Peter Debrge, Variety
"The action scenes just about justify the existence of this fourth instalment." - Tom Huddleston, Time Out
"If this is the best "Bourne" this team can deliver after nine years away - maybe it'd just be better next time if they forgot the whole thing." - Stephen Witty, Newark Star-Ledger
"There's a greatest-hits quality to the movie, only the band is tired and its heart isn't in it." - Bilge Ebiri, Village Voice
"It's entertaining enough, but it's another round of BOURNE Mad Libs..." - Scott Mendelson, Forbes
It's always quite telling when the positive reviews make excuses for the film or don't say much of anything at all, and there happen to be several examples of this found in just the few reviews that have gone up thus far. Critics appear to be praising the action quite a bit, but not much else, so perhaps the series has truly run its course at this point. Perhaps the next wave of reviews will have a few more positive things to say, but if this early sample is any indication, then I'd say you shouldn't hold you breath. Whatever the result may be, I still look forward to checking it out for myself.
Paul Greengrass' "Jason Bourne" hits theaters on July 29, 2016.
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