Director: Paul Greengrass
Screenwriters: Paul Greengrass and Christopher Rouse - based on characters created by Robert Ludlum
Tommy Lee Jones
Runtime: 123 mins.
Australian release date: 28 July 2016
“I volunteered, because of a lie!”
Jason Bourne is the fifth film in the eponymous franchise and a welcome return for both director Paul Greengrass, who made The Bourne Supremacy (2004) and The Bourne Ultimatum (2007), and Matt Damon, as David Webb, aka Jason Bourne.
The film opens somewhere on the Greek/ Albanian border where Bourne is working as a bare knuckle fighter so he can exist ‘off the grid’ while keeping in top physical shape. When Nicolette ‘Nicky’ Parsons (Julia Stiles - who we know from the earlier Bourne films), an ex-CIA operative, contacts him claiming that he doesn’t know the entire truth about Operation Treadstone, Bourne sets out to uncover the full story. Nicky informs him that the ‘black op’ involved his father Richard (Gregg Henry), who was a CIA analyst, so naturally his investigation puts him into the sights of the CIA once again.
As always, the agency is determined to get rid of Bourne and leading the charge is his old nemesis, craggy-faced CIA Director Robert Dewey (Tommy Lee Jones), whose malevolence seeps off the screen in every scene. Dewey is assisted by the new head of CIA cyber security, hacker extraordinaire Heather Lee (Alicia Vikander), who thinks she can convince Bourne to come back in from the cold, but Dewey has sent ‘Asset’ (Vincent Cassel), a CIA assassin, in pursuit of Bourne to ‘terminate his activities with extreme prejudice.’ The story takes us on a roller-coaster ride from Athens (actually filmed in Tenerife) to the UK, Berlin, Washington DC and Las Vegas, where a particularly thrilling car chase takes place in which the number of cars trashed has to be seen to be believed.
Jason Bourne is an extremely pumped film and one that will be embraced by fans of the Bourne franchise. The visual aspects of the film are as important as the script, which is tightly written by Greengrass and his editor, Christopher Rouse, and the high-energy musical score by David Buckley and John Powell, adds a momentum that leaves you exhausted, yet exhilarated. The fact that Damon has little dialogue to deliver is not a problem because his character is a man of few words but plenty of action. In a recent interview in Sydney while on a promo tour, Damon spoke about the changes in the film and the differences between it and life itself and what is ‘real.’ He responded with, “…we can’t tell the difference anyway,” which is pretty much what this franchise delivers.
It is completely over-the-top and certainly gets your heart pumping and isn’t that what a Jason Bourne movie should do?