The dream team of Matt Damon and director Paul Greengrass have reunited to give amnesiac assassin Jason Bourne another mission, much to the joy of Bourne fans the world over after the disappointment of The Bourne Legacy.
The good news? It’s everything you want it to be.
There’s something about the Bourne films that makes them stand out from other action movies. They have everything you’d expect of the genre – a strong but silent hero, extreme car chases and brutal one-on-one fistfights, but somehow done so much better thanks to Damon’s cold but vulnerable exterior and Greengrass’s super fast editing and directing style.
If you haven’t seen the other 3 in the Bourne series, watch those first before viewing the new one, or else you will likely be very confused. We’ve followed Jason Bourne (or David Webb, as he was originally known) and his story all the way from being fished out of the sea with multiple shot wounds, to going against the CIA to reveal its secrets and uncover the truth about his past, and finding out how he ended up as a lethal weapon with a long list of kills under his belt.
Again, at the start of the new film, we find Jason living a life ‘off the grid’, and yet again, he’s brought back to the CIA’s attention due to the actions of others. We see him get closer and closer to getting captured as he discovers more of the lies that lead him down his violent path, and eventually seek revenge on those who conspired against him.
There’s a familiar face in the form of Julia Stiles as ex-agent Nicky Parsons, who is key in bringing Bourne out of his new life as a cage fighter – but there’s also a lot of new characters that really bring the film to life.
Alicia Vikander is the stand out as steely-faced agent Heather Lee, a tech expert with questionable motives who tries to regain control of the hunt for Bourne, as well as breaking the rules to help him. Vikander seems to be having somewhat of a ‘moment’ right now, with successes including The Danish Girl and Ex Machina behind her, and big roles like the new Tomb Raider movie coming up. She’s great here: cool, collected and intelligent, but able to show the character crack under pressure.
There’s also strong turns from Vincent Cassel as the antagonist ‘asset’, the first one we’ve really heard speak, and Tommy Lee Jones as CIA Director Robert Dewey, whose power has clearly gone to his head and who takes matters into his own hands on multiple occasions. And, Riz Ahmed is good in the sidelines as the founder of a tech giant looking to expose the dark side of the CIA.
And of course, there’s Matt Damon. He’s just so brilliant in this role. You believe that he is strong and powerful and able to outwit the agency at every turn, but you’re also convinced that he’s a man with a troubled past, who doesn’t know where he comes from and is just desperate for answers.
All of the slickness and tension and speed of the previous Bourne films is present here; there’s several signature heart pounding car chases which literally make you wince in your seat, satisfying scenes where we see Bourne gain the upper hand on those chasing him, great moments in the agency headquarters as they do their best to keep up with his movements, and a fistfight at the end where you can just feel it’s a fight to the death.
As the storyline moves from city to city across the world, the tension rises, and the use of long sequences where you can feel the build to something big going down means the film never lulls.
It’s weird, there’s nothing exceptionally new here that we haven’t seen in the previous instalments, but it turns out that the Bourne formula is one you just don’t get sick of.
5 stars from us, all the way. In fact – it might just be my favourite Bourne yet.
If you’re quick, you can still catch Jason Bourne in cinemas. Here’s the trailer to wet your appetite: