Matt Damon was quoted as saying that he wouldn’t entertain the prospect of reprising his role as Jason Bourne, unless Paul Greengrass was at the helm. Their prosperous collaborations within this franchise has provided two striking slices of contemporary action thrillers in Supremacy and Ultimatum, and thankfully, the pair are reunited again, which is evident in the finished product given this is a worthy, electrifying addition to this remarkable series of films, standing up to what came before.
Jason Bourne is living in the shadows of society bare-knuckle boxing across Europe, until he is tracked down by Nicky Parsons (Julia Stiles) who has some vital information for him, which concerns the operation he had partaken in, and the means of recruiting him – not to mention some valuable intelligence on his father. The pair meet in Athens during a riot, but they’re being tracked by the CIA, with Director Robert Dewey (Tommy Lee Jones) aware that if this information falls into the wrong hands, it could have devastating consequences. With Heather Lee (Alicia Vikander) heading up the operation, and the ‘Asset’ (Vincent Cassel) on the ground, pursuing the two targets, Jason Bourne knows that to survive he has to do what he’s always done best – and hide.
One of the big doubts concerning this return into the world of Bourne, is that the preceding endeavour to star the character, ended with him admitting he remembers what happened to him. It was that elusive doubt that lingered over him, being unaware as to his own history, which laid the foundations for the films to thrive off – without that mystery, questions remain as to how this project would work. But narratively it’s spot on, and Bourne remains on the back foot, constantly searching for answers – this time surrounding his father. It allows for the character to resume the vital role of a blank canvas, reflecting the viewer, as we learn about his past just as he does. Damon – though with a somewhat limited amount of dialogue – is accomplished in the lead role, while Vikander, Lee Jones and Cassel are wonderful additions to the series, each tying into the narrative and this particular universe without contrivance.
The film truly comes into its element with the breathtaking set pieces, starting impressively and unrelenting from thereon, pulling no punches along the way. There’s one car chase in particular, down the Las Vegas strip, which is as good as anything you’ll see all year. So while you can’t have been blamed for being sceptical as to whether we needed another entry into the Bourne franchise, now it’s finally upon us, you’ll be hard-pressed to find anybody complaining.