<Review by: Sailesh Ghelani>
Directed by Paul Greengrass. Starring Matt Damon, Alicia Vikander, Tommy Lee Jones, Julia Stiles, Vincent Cassel, Riz Ahmed, Ato Essandoh, Scott Shepherd, Vinzenz Kiefer, Bill Camp
Running Time: 2 hours
The first three Bourne films had an immense fan following and did very well. After a failed attempt to replace Matt Damon with Jeremy Renner (in The Bourne Legacy), the original Bourne returns after 9 years and we’re sorta glad he did.
What makes the Bourne films? I’d like to think apart from the slick editing and realistic action sequences that are sharp and engaging, it is Matt Damon’s silent soldier who says so much while saying so little that makes them as fun to watch as they are. In Jason Bourne, our hero has only 288 words throughout the film. In fact, if you actually think about it, apart from the technical gobbledegook there is hardly any dialogue by the main characters. It’s all about the action, the feel, the emotion.
Here Jason Bourne is brought back in to the world of the CIA when a friend of his (Julia Styles) hacks into their system and finds out about Bourne’s mysterious past and how he came to be the super soldier he is. But there’s also the mystery of his father’s death – not so mysterious as most will have figured out why he died long before the actual reveal – and this spurs him towards that truth as well as a little matter of cleaning out the garbage.
CIA Director Dewey (Tommy Lee Jones) wants Bourne dead and has his ‘Asset’ (Vincent Cassel) do everything to that end. But his protégé Heather Lee (Alicia Vikander) would rather bring Bourne back in and soon suspects the Director isn’t quite fighting for truth and justice.
Bike chases and care chases ensue and they are riveting. There’s one in the streets of Greece during an austerity riot that successfully stages the madness of the riot as well as the heated chase sequence of Bourne evading the CIA’s killing Asset. Through it all, Bourne remains composed and in control. He knows just what to do.
As we’re exposed to secret documents about the plans to ‘protect America from extraordinary threats’ we wonder if there’s some larger plot about to unfold. This tends to be the anti-climax of the film though. A part of me – spoilt on all these super hero movies – started wondering if Bourne isn’t actually a ‘mutant’ or alien-human hybrid. Perhaps real life and super hero films are making us expect a lot more. As it is, Jason Bourne is pretty super. He’s just a human, fighting evil and trying to bring justice in a world that seems to be falling apart at the seams. And the film’s parallel story about an internet giant and the CIA’s partnership with them invading people’s privacy seems a trifle compared to the problems facing the world today. Which is why it seems a tad old school.
Jason Bourne is a film you’ll watch for Matt Damon and some high-octane chase sequences that will prove to you that an American SWAT vehicle is stronger than the Bat-Mobile!