Movie reviews: Jason Bourne, Finding Dory, Author: The JT Leroy Story

Jason Bourne 4/5

Movie reviews: Jason Bourne, Finding Dory, Author: The JT Leroy Story

Matt Damon returns as Jason Bourne (12A), the latest offering in a franchise that redefined the modern action thriller.

Off the grid and earning a living as a bareknuckle boxer, Bourne is sucked back into the murky world of black ops when Nicky Parsons (Julia Stiles) hacks the CIA servers and discovers why Bourne was first recruited as a trained assassin.

Pursued officially by CIA cyber specialist Heather Lee (Alicia Vikander), and unofficially by the malevolent CIA director Robert Dewey (Tommy Lee Jones), Bourne embarks on a globe-trotting trip to get to the truth of his father’s murder.

Directed by Paul Greengrass, who previously directed Damon in The Bourne Supremacy (2004) and The Bourne Ultimatum (2007), Jason Bourne, as the title suggests, is something of a retrenching, and perhaps even a reboot, after the misfire of The Bourne Legacy, which starred Jeremy Renner.

The story is more heavily invested in technology than the preceding movies, but even so the movie is arguably less inventive as Greengrass and Damon go back to basics: essentially, the movie is a two-hour action sequence that opens in Athens and doesn’t let up until it culminates — after detours through Berlin and London — with an explosive car-chase through the streets of Las Vegas.

He may be a little greyer and grizzled now, but Matt Damon is still a powerhouse as the iconic Bourne, and the action is as intense, brilliantly edited and brutal as we’d come to expect from the earlier trilogy.

It may offer little that’s new, but Jason Bourne is the most accomplished of the summer blockbusters to date.

Dory, the blue tang fish with the three-second attention span, stole the show in Pixar’s Finding Nemo (2003).

Finding Dory (G) is a sequel-of-sorts, in which we first encounter Dory (voiced by Ellen DeGeneres) as an adorable baby fish who suffers from ‘short-term re-memory issues’.

Separated from her parents because she can’t remember their warnings about swimming too close to the edge of the reef, baby Dory grows up vaguely aware that she is on a mission to find something important, even if she can never remember what it is.

Andrew Stanton, who previously directed Finding Nemo and WALL-E (2003) writes and co-directs here, ensuring a continuity with the beautiful innocence that characterised Finding Nemo.

If that continuity means that the stories can feel a little too similar at times as Dory sets off into the ocean’s great blue yonder, it also means that Nemo (Hayden Rolence) and his father Marlin (Albert Brooks) play an important part in Dory’s adventure.

There are, of course, new characters, the most impressive of which is Hank the Octopus (Ed O’Neill), a shape-shifting master of camouflage who may well earn his own spin-off movie down the line, and for the most part Finding Dory is a fast-paced, vividly realised (the undersea visuals are eye-popping) but gentle adventure of discovery.

Older viewers might find the latter stages an unnecessarily drawn out caper, but Finding Dory, while no classic, is nevertheless a very enjoyable addition to the Pixar/Disney canon.

Author: The JT Leroy Story (15A) is an absorbing documentary exploring the truth behind the literary sensation JT Leroy, who shot to fame in the 1990s as a reclusive transgender teen who wrote bestselling fictionalised accounts (Sarah and The Heart is Deceitful Above All Things) of his/her traumatic youth as a neglected and abused child who turned to heroin and prostitution.

Championed by media celebrities such as Madonna, Bono, Tom Waits and Courtney Love, JT Leroy was living a lie — in reality, the author was Laura Albert, a 30-something woman.

But JT Leroy, Laura Albert argues, wasn’t the ‘hoax’ he/she was subsequently declared: JT Leroy, Laura claims, was a legitimate fictional creation who gave Laura a creative process for the issues and personalities that had craved an outlet ever since Laura’s own troubled childhood.

Endlessly fascinating, the documentary — written and directed by Jeff Feuerzeig — poses a number of intriguing questions about the nature of fiction, its sources and its manifestations.

Meanwhile, Laura poignantly asserts that ‘JT Leroy’ wasn’t the product of multiple personalities but ‘a cast of characters’ that lived in her mind, and that her entire life has been an extended act of performance art motivated by the desire to become ‘a healthy human being’.

Feuerzeig peels away layers of masks, disguises and subterfuge as he seeks to get to the heart of who JT Leroy and Laura Albert really are, creating a must-see film for anyone interested in understanding the messy complexities of the creative process.

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