When that fella Jason Bourne dove off a roof in 2007’s Ultimatum, it was a pretty neat ending for the character at the tail end of one of the best action films of the decade. Well now he’s back, because of reasons…
The new film is very much more of the same, which will be good news for fans of these adventures in car crashes and close quarters combat. The punching is punchy, the crashes are crashy and Matt Damon remains a committed and compelling action star.
It’s also essentially the same film as we’ve seen before, complete with lots of tense walking from one place to another, phone call conversations and codenames that make big government plans sound like something innocuous.
The script is co-written by director Paul Greengrass and editor his long-time editor Christopher Rouse and it’s an efficient enough thing with few real surprises. Sure there are elements of cyber security and Snowden is used as a key word a number of times but structurally it’s still pretty much the same thing.
Still Damon does his thing in a way that’s both violent and vulnerable and there’s a great ensemble cast including Tommy Lee Jones, Vincent Cassel and a self aware turn from Riz Ahmed.
The best of the bunch is probably Alicia Vikander who is given a fair amount to do and gets to play a steelier character than her usual roles. It’s a sign of the range she’s capable of and another suggestion that this young Swede has a shining career ahead of her.
Greengrass continues to impress in his action scenes, and yes there’s another car chase or two to add to the roster from the series so far. The largest set piece takes place in Las Vegas and goes a little too bombastic, verging on territory patrolled by Michael Bay.
Jason Bourne is another Bourne film- and you’ll already know if that means it’s for you. There’s little here to further the story and a sense that everyone was showing up to keep the franchise ticking for the future careers. It remains watchable enough thanks to the talent involved, but hardly essential viewing for non fans.