It’s hard to believe that it was all the way back in 2002 that the very first Bourne film, ‘The Bourne Identity’ came out, based on the book by Robert Ludlum of the same name. Now it’s 14 years later, and the fifth instalment of the series (which we’d never anticipated in the beginning), ‘Jason Bourne’ (directed by Paul Greengrass) has finally been released… And Matt Damon is back in it!
Jason Bourne (Matt Damon) has been living off grid for a while, managing to survive by becoming a bare-knuckle fighter in Europe. He’s certainly not forgotten the past (if anything, his flashbacks indicate the stress is at its highest yet), but he’s managing to survive without getting tangled up in it all. That is, until Nicky Parsons (Julia Stiles) makes an unexpected return with information that she believes will help Bourne understand more about his past life. Soon the CIA, still headed by Robert Dewey (Tommy Lee Jones), are on their trail, with both previous antagonist the Asset (Vincent Cassell) and newcomer Heather Lee (Alicia Vikander) doing what they can to get to Bourne before he reveals all to the world.
The previous films have all been pretty darn good – the first three especially – and so they make a very hard act to follow. I’ve got to say though, this is probably the first fifth film in a series that’s actually almost as good as the original (apart from the Harry Potter series of course, where they just got better and better). It hasn’t sold out yet, and it also still feels like a classic Bourne film.
The acting in this one is really good as well, with Vikander being convincing in her performance as always, and Cassell portraying one seriously vengeful antagonist that just doesn’t seem to stop. Of course, the real star of the show is Matt Damon himself, who is so believable as Jason Bourne that it’s almost hard to believe that he’s actually just acting. To be fair, I’ve enjoyed Damon in all of his films that I’ve seen, but at the end of the day he makes the Bourne series.
As always, the cinematography is beautifully fast-paced, and the viewer is constantly right in the middle of it. The action never gets dull, and there’s plenty of chasing both on foot and in vehicle. There’s still no match for the classic running over the rooftops scene from ‘The Bourne Ultimatum’ (and I don’t think there ever will be), but the climax of the film is intensely gripping to say the least, and with a much darker feel than the previous films. There’s also a nice mix of high tech, stealth-based scenes and back-to-basics fist fights, which presents an interesting contrast.
The one thing I didn’t quite think was as good as it could have been was the music – although still really good, of course, it didn’t send shivers down my spine quite like it did in the first three. Maybe it’s because we’re so used to hearing it by now, but I know that when I’m in the mood for some OST I’ll be picking up the score from either 1, 2, or 3, and not the most recent one.
‘Jason Bourne’ is definitely a must-see if you’re into the series – it’s fast-paced, emotionally charged, and relentless as we weave in and out of the chase (sometimes literally). With yet another hint at a sequel, Bourne is still going strong. ⅘
Jason Bourne at CeX
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