Jason Bourne review

Matt Damon in Jason Bourne
Matt Damon in Jason Bourne

"Jesus Christ, it's Jason Bourne."  And how great does it feel to have him back.

After the forgettable (despite snatches of virtuosity) The Bourne Legacy, a misnamed misfire, the A-Team is back. Matt Damon said after the original trilogy that he wouldn't return to the fray unless director Paul Greengrass (The Bourne Supremacy/The Bourne Ultimatum) did the same. And so it comes to pass. Ten years after we saw Jason Bourne tumble off a building into the East River, watching him float lifelessly in the tide before bursting into a healthy paddle for the surface, we have waited for his return.

Much has changed in ten years and Greengrass cuts to the chase from the get-go.  It's a world of secrets and lies becoming Wikileaks and headlines, privacy and security versus homeland security and global instability. Jason Bourne has opted out of the lot. 

We meet him in the Greek hinterland punching people really really hard for a couple of bucks. He's fit he's ruthless, using his physical and emotional scar tissue as a shield. 

Of course this cannot last forever. We knew when he put Nicky Parsons (Julia Stiles) on that bus it wouldn't be the last we saw of her. When she tracks him down with vital information on his past, Bourne will be sucked right back in, chasing memories, and chasing the bad guys.

There are pros and cons when it comes to the familiar feel of this franchise, the challenge is always to keep it fresh. The Ludlum character has always been a winner and Damon embodies both the physical and the subterranean nature of the Bourne beast so perfectly. So the key to pushing the franchise into the future will always be story.

Enter stage left, recent Oscar-winner Alicia Vikander as Heather Lee. An expert in cyber security at the CIA, Lee's ambition is clear, her motives not so much. She begs CIA director Dewey (Tommy Lee Jones) to let her lead the charge when Bourne resurfaces, and the guessing game of cat and mouse which Greengrass does so well will play out not only between Bourne and those chasing him, but between those doing the chasing.

But what about the action, I hear you cry! The Bourne Trilogy is literally littered with wreckage, scattered across the globe from Moscow to Paris to Morocco. It will be Athens and Las Vegas cleaning up this time round, and there's a lot to clean up. You'll see what I mean, but for now, gird your action-loving loins for a typically kinetic and crazy motorbike chase through streets rammed with protestors and police, and save some breath for the insanity of the Vegas car chase finale. 

Here's the thing; I'm a fan, a huge fan. I went in loving Bourne, I came out loving him still. Damon can literally play Bourne until he's in a zimmer frame as far as I'm concerned, he'll still outwit them all.

     Jason Bourne:: Director: Paul Greengrass:: Starring: Matt Damon, Alicia Vikander, Tommy Lee Jones, Julia Stiles, Vincent Cassel, Riz Ahmed, Neve Gachev, Ato Essandoh:: Rating: M - violence:: Running Time: 123 minutes

Reviewed by Kate Rodger / Newshub.

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