After rightfully dropping ‘The Bourne Legacy’ from my memory; I was anxious but well up for another Bourne outing once realising that Matt Damon and director Paul Greengrass would be united once again. This film then, is a slight drop in the honed in grittiness of the trilogy, but it’s still a damn well delivered action thriller.
Kicking off after Jason Bourne’s (Matt Damon) swimming away from Ultimatum, we find the troubled man in Greece trying to live off the grid. That is until a face from the past warns him of more secrets leading Bourne to hunt down answers pursued by the tactics of CIA director Robert Dewey (Tommy Lee Jones) and agent Heather Lee (Alicia Vikander).
Admittedly I must say that even my excitement never wavered upon finding out this movie was in production, I did feel that maybe it wasn’t overly needed. I can confirm that now seeing this I still annoyingly feel that it wasn’t truly necessary. There’s an engaging story in there at times amongst the CIA charged drama but having Bourne finding out there’s more to his past feels quite rehashed.
That’s the only negative I majorly have with this movie though, the story is kind of the same and the convenience of having a third act sequence at a tech convention, for Bourne to just scoop some handy tools for tracking felt lazy, but apart from these sour notes I found myself really enjoying this spy feature. It has both action and technical logistics scenes in equal measure that make it more than just explosions and nonsense, the new faces are a treat to the JB world and you can’t hide the smile when the first shrill notes of Moby’s ‘Extreme Ways’ exits the speakers.
Greengrass is great in making these blockbuster movies feel dangerous and real. The grittiness is in effect and the frequent shaky cam gives an unstable edge to the look which works well in parallel to the quivering nature of truth and who to trust in the plot. Greengrass certainly knows how traverse the globe, shooting cities and their subsequent panics to make Bourne a capable hero against all the odds, thrown amongst riots, assassins and shady government figures; he is a man to root for.
Each big moment feels well handled and packs a suitable punch, mostly for being so damn tense. Firstly there’s Greece and a politically charged breakdown between civilians and police, London gets screen-time in a way not as good as the Waterloo station from Ultimatum but still stuffed with suspense as Bourne tries getting to someone. The gloss and glamour of Las Vegas gets to shine…and smash in a huge way for the final act and it may be Fast and Furious style carnage but it’s breakneck, unflinching and full of adrenaline from start to finish.
Matt Damon is back as Bourne and it’s nice to see him back, he is damn good at the part. Fit and silently firm Damon ensures that Jason is someone we keep on side with, but then it’s the other players in the game that add real spice to the proceedings. Julia Stiles returns and is great in a smaller role. Alicia Vikander keeps you guessing as she treads back and forth in your mind to if she’s good or not and she plays it well. Tommy Lee Jones is a fantastic addition as the stern man overseeing the plan to take down Bourne. Vincent Cassel is another welcome new member and gifts the film a strong asset that can rival the power of Jason himself.
Treadstone and 2002 Bourne may be gone but the Greengrass/Damon combo usher in Ironhand and a still resourceful Jason, to cast an iron hand on the franchise with plenty of solid moments.