Matt Damon is Bourne again. From the swell of the understated music that’s underpinned the series to date, we know that we are firmly in Jason’s world. However, it is a more chaotic, even murkier world than the one he swam away from at the end of Ultimatum.
The film opens with a Jason Bourne who has been off the grid, a stagnant 30 million dollar weapon. In the previous Bourne trilogy (we’ll forget about Legacy), Jason had a battlefield of self-discovery to navigate. Now, he has no leads left to pursue, only the need to survive. Damon’s Bourne has matured but is as ever capable, his physicality very impressive for a 45 year old, and he fits back into Bourne completely.
Our hero finds himself up against the new face of the CIA, Heather Lee (Alicia Viaknder). Vikander brings an excellent freshness to the series in her role as an intelligence officer tinged with political ambition who is seconded to the embattled CIA Director, gruffly played by Tommy Lee Jones. Vincent Cassel is a tad underused, but a good counterpoint to Bourne, whilst Riz Ahmed’s social media prophet is pleasantly shady and well-cast in a vital role.
Greengrass manages to create discussions of the modern world that lacked from Spectre or MI: Rogue Nation, such as the raging debate between privacy and security, state-sponsored assassination and government accountability. It’s been seven years since we last saw Bourne, and Damon and Greengrass make this update work very well.
There are a few predictable story elements and some wobbles along the way, but Jason Bourne homages the earlier instalments pleasingly and is a welcome return from Damon and Greengrass. It’s exactly what you’d expect, broadening Bourne’s backstory and tackling relevant issues, and exactly what we needed.
CAST: Matt Damon, Alicia Vikander, Tommy Lee Jones, Vincent Cassal, Julia Styles, Riz Ahmed
DIRECTOR: Paul Greengrass
WRITERS: Paul Greengrass (screenplay), Christopher Rouse (screenplay), Robert Ludlum (characters)
SYNOPSIS: Jason Bourne (Matt Damon) is suddenly thrust back into the shadowy world he tried to escape as ghosts of his past and new threats present themselves, taking him on a globe spanning chase to understand the truth of his heritage and uncover a major conspiracy.