Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Armond White ― Jason Bourne’s Tough Guy Politics

A franchise and a French film series offer moral contrasts.

(The National Review)
 A resolute Matt Damon aiming a Heckler and Koch USP (universal self-loading pistol) in the advertising poster for Jason Bourne tells all you need to know about liberal hypocrisy. The movie itself tells less, given the filmmakers’ attempt to obfuscate by swamping moral principle with mindless sensationalism. That has always been the case with the Bourne franchise (five films so far based on the Robert Ludlum book series). Damon portrays the titular former CIA assassin who goes rogue but remains troubled by an identity crisis; as the result of a government experiment he’s unable to remember his past.
Maybe one reason the Bourne franchise has been a popular moneymaker is that the hero is a prototype for the modern movie-going audience; Hollywood relies upon viewers also being “psychogenic amnesiacs.” If they don’t remember, or care to distinguish, one Bourne plot from another, they become perfect dupes for rehashed product. This time Jason Bourne reemerges into the fractious world of espionage now complicated by technological baddies. CIA Chief Tommy Lee Jones sics counterinsurgency expert Alicia Vikander to smoke out Bourne, who once again gets entangled with his old crony Julia Stiles.

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