Our beloved assassin is back on the big screen this week, but was it all worth it?
To put it shortly, yes!
It has been nine years since Matt Damon last played the fan-favourite assassin with amnesia, but watching this new outing you instantly forget the big break between the two films – well to be point that Bourne does look a little bit older, but don’t worry he is still in good physical form.
The audience is thrown back into the familiar structure of a Bourne film, the music has barely changed, the fight scenes carry the same unique style to them, and obviously with Damon back in the lead role it all adds up to a pretty neat nostalgic trip for fans. However, for all its nostalgic undertones, director Paul Greengrass has updated this latest outing of Bourne into a technology obsessed world, but I will not say anymore on this matter as I may accidentally spoil some elements of the plot, which would not exactly be ideal…
So moving swiftly on, there was a lot of hype when it was announced Damon was stepping back into the shoes of Bourne, building up pressure for Damon to get it right. If anyone ever doubted Damon would still have the stamina and physicality to come back to such a demanding role after so many years, Damon very comfortably blows these doubts sky-high. Damon with such ease re-settles back into his former role and continues to carry the film in silence (bet that was one of the reasons Damon took the role was due to the lack of lines to learn!) it goes to show we do not simply watch Bourne for the characteristically witty or charming action hero featured in so many other actions films.
Joining the cast is Alicia Vikander, playing Heather Lee, who works for the CIA. Vikander is excellent at playing Lee who wants to naively prove to her male dominated workplace that she can catch Bourne (think she missed the memo of about the previous attempts…), and at one point CIA Director Robert Dewey played by Tommy Lee Jones remarks that she does not fully comprehend who she is dealing with. This is nod to the previous Bourne films of how dangerous Bourne is, and Greengrass does not play this down in this film, even if the rogue operative has been in hiding for so many years, he still causes a sweat on the brows of the many employees at the CIA by the mere mention of his name.
The action sequences of the film are full of excitement and intensity, and it is pretty obvious from these that the budget of this film must have been pretty high. Yet, the car chases seen in this film with their grand spectacle will never live up to the famously brilliant one from The Bourne Identity with the Mini Cooper, costing the film budget probably half the amount to film. Saying this, no other Bourne action sequence particularly the car chases have never lived up to this particular one in my opinion as it marked Bourne out as a departure from many of the other action films relying on big budget action sequences. Yes, I’m looking at you Mr Bond.
After watching this film and being welcomed back into the world where Bourne is feared by the security institutions for his violence and willingness to kill, what remains key is how human Bourne is at times, more human than the CIA agents who attempt to stop him, which is what makes us root for him, even if he is an assassin. In successfully updating the film after a nine year break stresses how Bourne cannot hide from his past and how Treadstone shaped him into what he is, and with this set-up it is clear that Bourne can continue to share his adventures with us on the big screen, and is still an exciting watch without following all the conventions seen with other action films in the market.
Jason Bourne is playing at all major cinemas across the UK now.