In every movie in the Bourne series (except for Legacy), there comes that moment. You know the one. Some shadowy government scumbag is convinced they’ve got the drop on Bourne, and they’re celebrating their accomplishment only to have the phone ring or the computer screen come on just in time for Bourne to tell them that he’s looking at them through a sniper’s scope or he’s recorded them threatening to kill the President or he’s got naked pictures of them and a goat, and as they realize just how screwed they are, here comes the Moby on the soundtrack and there goes Bourne, back into the shadows until next time.
The problem is, the charm has definitely faded, and Jason Bourne proves to be one trip too many to the well, lapsing into accidental self-parody in places. There are scenes I dug and a few set-pieces that work, and there’s an overall level of intensity that I like from director Paul Greengrass. Taken as a whole, though, this is very familiar territory, and I just don’t care when the stakes are this low and the violence is this rough. It’s like beating someone with a tire iron because they didn’t cover their mouth when they sneezed. The film never really makes a compelling case for why Jason Bourne should be back in action, or what makes him heroic in any significant way at this point, and that feels like a problem.