Friday, June 9, 2017

Jason Bourne

Year 9, Day 159 - 6/8/17 - Movie #2,654

BEFORE: Oh, it was going to be so sweet - almost poetic in its elegance.  Lucas Hedges was in "The Zero Theorem", and also happens to be in "Manchester By the Sea", I was going to review that and link right back to my chain, right back to where I left off after "Triple 9".  I could detour to include "Wonder Woman" and get right back to where I stepped off the path in ONE more step.  I have the best luck sometimes.  But the problem with that chain, as great as it is, is that, assuming I watch a week of animated films on Netflix in late June, that it links up with "Spider-Man: Homecoming" 5 days too early.  Which is not that big of a deal, I could just watch no films for a few days, and then end up right where I wanted to be.  But darn it, that's not good enough.

Since there is no meaning to the universe other than that which I assign to it, I choose to change the path again, and follow the other road - Matt Damon carries over from "The Zero Theorem" - and this leads me to 3 films with Jake Gyllenhall, two of which were recently added to the bottom of my list, and the third will be an Academy screener.  This pushes my link to "Spider-Man: Homecoming" forward a few days, and it now links up with the premiere date.  Of course, it may be too crowded to see this film on opening day, so if I can push it back another three days so I can watch that film on a Monday night, that would be ideal.  But maybe I can only control the universe a little bit at a time.

"Jason Bourne" is a last-minute drop-in, and I should be able to get back to "Manchester By the Sea" next Monday.  So right now I'm current, which means I'm really a day behind - but I'll be able to catch up next week.  Forward progress on reducing the size of watchlist is suspended for, like, the 40th day in a row, but concessions need to be made.  If I can watch DVDs at my parent's house this weekend I can stay on track, if not, well, I can work with that too.  But I think going from "The Zero Theorem", with a main character who's not all there in the head, is a good segue to "Jason Bourne", and if I'm right, the last of the 3 Gyllenhaal films will provide a nice thematic link back to "Manchester By the Sea". 

THE PLOT: The CIA's most dangerous former operative is drawn out of hiding to uncover more explosive truths about his past.

AFTER: The latest film in this franchise inches the story of Jason Bourne's quest for answers ahead once again, after a 10-year absence for the character.  Where has he been all this time?  Bare-knuckle boxing in various countries for cash prizes, apparently.  Supposedly he's filled with guilt, so I suppose I have to go back and read the plotlines for the previous "Bourne" films to remind myself exactly what he did and why he feels so guilty. 

The only other character that carries over from the previous films is that female technician, who may or may not have been Bourne's girlfriend at some point.  She's a "hacktivist" (ugh, that word...) who's planning to download all of the CIA's secret files and release them to the word, Snowden-style.  But she's tracked by a bunch of better hackers in one of those cinematic rooms full of monitors, and they track her "Eagle Eye"-style to her location in Iceland, before she's off to meet Jason Bourne in Greece, in the middle of an anti-goverment protest.  The dodge doesn't work, because the magic people in the magic room full of computers can somehow track her in the middle of all the chaos, thanks to tapping in to street cameras and people's social media accounts and oh, God, we're living in the world of "1984", aren't we?

(Is this why my computer is running so slowly, because the CIA's finally on to me?  They know what I wrote about the President last week, don't they?  Now they're rooting around in my iTunes, checking out what music I listen to, to see if I fit some profile.  Don't tell me it's not possible, because I know it is...)

Bourne's not looking for the answers to the universe, just ones from his little corner of it, like who was he before he was Jason Bourne, and apparently he can only get these answers by staring at a PDF file of government files on the Treadstone Program, which trigger memories of a fateful meal he had at a café, or something.  He's not like normal people, who fall asleep while reading government documents about how to deduct business meals from their income on their tax return. 

Bourne's adversary here is The Asset, a professional killer who came out of the same program that he did, because of course he did, though he looks considerably older.  Maybe all that bare-knuckle boxing has kept Bourne looking young, who knows.  Maybe it's liberating to get all of that aggression out, and that plus the stress-free nature of living off the grid, plus a balanced diet, is just the thing to keep him fit and trim while trying to decide whether it's time to "go back in".  Everyone seems to have an opinion here about whether it's "time to come in" or whether they can "bring him in".  Did anyone think to ask him, maybe he doesn't want to come in, maybe he likes it outside? 

And, just putting this out there, does anyone in the CIA think that maybe their time might be better spent keeping track of our country's enemies, instead of tracking down agents that disappeared 10 years ago?  Is this really the best use of our agents' time, instead of fighting ISIS, for example?  I guess if they have to devote so much time to plugging their leaks and preventing compromising files from being posted on Wikileaks there's no time left to prevent Russia from messing with our election process, and there you go, that's how that happens.

Also starring Tommy Lee Jones (last seen in "Cobb"), Alicia Vikander (last seen in "Burnt"), Vincent Cassel (last seen in "Trance"), Julia Stiles (last seen in "Girl Most Likely") Riz Ahmed (last seen in "Rogue One"), Bill Camp (last seen in "Black Mass"), Ato Essandoh, Scott Shepherd, Vinzenz Kiefer, with a cameo from Gregg Henry (last seen in "Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2").

RATING: 4 out of 10 Black Ops projects

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