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‘Jason Bourne’ Critical Roundup: Reviewers Have Fun With the Matt Damon Sequel but Wonder Why It Exists in the First Place

The film marks Damon's return to the franchise after nearly a decade away.

“Jason Bourne”

Matt Damon is re-Bourne this week, but the first round of reviews suggest this latest installment in the spy franchise is one trip to the well too many. Indiewire‘s Eric Kohn calls Paul Greengrass’ “Jason Bourne” a “sequel to a franchise that didn’t need continuation…Damon and Greengrass have been coaxed back to resuscitate the series’ appeal, but even they can’t seem to muster more than a shrug.”

READ MORE: ‘Jason Bourne’ Review: A Useless Sequel Makes the Case For Its Own Irrelevance

Robert Abele is much more enthused, writing in TheWrap that this fifth go-round “should represent, for those ready and able to separate popcorn mayhem from the grim realities of world headlines, a bruising and exhilarating ride.” Further, he feels that the film’s mindfulness about the violence depicted onscreen “sets ‘Jason Bourne,’ and Greengrass’s shepherding of this franchise, apart from the rest of the blockbuster crowd.”

Slant Magazine‘s Jake Cole isn’t of a similar mindset, arguing that “one of the more admirable traits of the original Bourne trilogy is how little pleasure it takes in its violence, but ‘Jason Bourne’ revels in its vicious action sequences.”

Cole’s 1.5/4 rating is one of the lowest garnered by the film, with one of the highest coming from Richard Roeper. He gives “Jason Bourne” 3.5/4 stars in the Chicago Sun Times, declaring it “the best action thriller of the year so far, with a half-dozen terrific chase sequences and fight scenes.”

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Tim Robey of The Telegraph lands in between those two extremes. He steps back and approaches the film from an industrial standpoint. “Hunting Bourne is more than ever a business now, with a bottom line to worry about, a crowd to please, and presumably hasty deadlines to meet,” Robey writes in his 3/5 review. “It’s not that there’s no pause for thought in this still-good-fun episode. There’s just not enough thought in the pauses.”

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