Matt Damon is Bourne again, reprising the role that helped establish him as a house-hold name playing the CIA spy with a severe case of amnesia, hunting those who did him wrong. Not since 2007 have we seen the proper Bourne on screen, but now renowned original director (Paul Greengrass) returns to help wipe clean the other movie that starred Jeremy Renner from 2012.
Set across picturesque and uniquely idiosyncratic European landscapes, Jason Bourne is back, thrown back into the fray when an old ally in Nicky Parsons seeks him out and drops several large bombshells that force Bourne back into the lens of the CIA, who at their very core are still as corrupt as the last time he faced them.
Now headed up by Tommy Lee Jones, his protégé played by Alicia Vikander and their ‘asset’ Vincent Cassel, together are an elite unit each with their own strengths whether it be computer hacking, intelligence or pure wrath – who shift gears to protect the secrets they harbor by hunting Bourne across Europe and the USB drive he has possession of with ‘Edward Snowden’ levels of leaks encrypted inside.
Of course the plot is not as simple as I can surmise here, these movies are well known for being a more intelligent version of James Bond, where the plot doesn’t hold your hand and often leaves you in the dark, constantly guessing and in a perpetual state of suspense. Each character has their own sense of gravitas and intensity, and the action is gritty and immersive. All encapsulating, Paul Greengrass sets up the right level of unease and confusion, leaving you constantly on your toes about what will happen next.
One critique would be the very formulaic structure of ‘Jason Bourne’ that seems to apply to its predecessor films as well. The story here is more or less the same as the others; Bourne on the run, evil government, a pasty field agent with an agenda, a love interest operating out of the analyst office, a betrayal here, a betrayal there and culminating with a big expensive car chase.
The problem with this is yes its very repetitive but the bigger problem is I don’t seem to care? All the Bourne films are entertaining, thrilling, realistic (as much as possible) attentive and intriguing, and often when a movie stretches past the threequel level the writers clutch at straws. But I found this film engaging and definitely worth my two hours, albeit some glaring plot holes and cliché tropes, overall despite the commonality of its plotline, Bourne still feels fresher than most sequels that have come out this year.
Image courtesy of the official Jason Bourne movie website.