"Listen up people, we have a situation here...assets are green...this is a code 10 abort.."
Whilst on the entertainment level it's close to being the perfect modern spy thriller, its essential shallowness means that this particular threequel also comes mighty close to self-parody.
In the last two films Jason Bourne's fellow black ops assets have resembled sexually ambiguous European male models, but here they look rather more like Middle-Eastern terrorists. A job with Langley may after all be the ideal place for such men to avoid being accidentally taken out as collateral damage as the rest of the agency chases its own tail so furiously. (Watching the London section of this 111 minute chase scene, it was hard not to think of poor old Jean Charles de Menezes.)
If Bourne's peers have subtly changed, his (miss)-handlers are all basically carbon copies of the ones that checked out at the end of the two previous installments.
The cinema was so packed that I found myself in the second row from the screen and knowing Paul Greengrass's shaky camera style, I was fully prepared to be frothing at the mouth before Bourne had even started to sprint. There were times when I instinctively fumbled for the remote and its << button, but generally I managed to mentally track the action, and I kind of enjoyed it when the Moroccan families whose living rooms Bourne comes crashing through are glimpsed only as a blur.
I always figured he'd eventually get it on with Julia Stiles's character, but their relationship here ends up being the most understated part of the movie. "I remember everything," Bourne tells a relieved audience at the end...but does he remember her? I do like Stiles. I must find time to watch her in Edmond. I'm glad I avoided the temptation of watching that bootleg Spanish version, as this was certainly the first decent cinema film since early May. It's not just sunshine that has been in short supply this summer.