(M) Matt Damon, Alicia Vikander, Tommy Lee Jones
Bourne is back. And even with minimal dialogue and enough action to last for another decade, Matt Damon again truly encapsulates this psychologically confused CIA agent. It is hard to imagine that it has been 10 years since Damon last appeared on-screen as Jason Bourne (in 2007’s The Bourne Ultimatum), but he is back… and it just feels so right.
Leaping over 2012’s forgettable The Bourne Legacy (starring Jeremy Renner), this all-new Jason Bourne finds the famous assassin living off the grid and residing in the seedier side of the world. His life is as chaotic as when he disappeared almost one decade earlier. The only thing that manages to lure him out of his self-made exile is a message from his ever-reliable and faithful confidant, Nicky Parsons (Julia Stiles). She has information that will provide more answers to Jason’s past, as well as details that will cause turmoil for the CIA and the life of its director, Robert Dewey (Tommy Lee Jones). Once the information makes it out of the shadows of the internet, the hunt is on for former agent Bourne and well-trained hacker Parsons. Counter-intelligence expert Heather Lee (Alicia Vikander) must work to find the answers to the agency hack and also determine which side of the CIA internal war that Bourne is on. The game is afoot and both sides travel around the world to secure answers… before more people die.
The calming effect that Damon has in front of the camera can only be matched by the inclusion of director Paul Greengrass behind the camera. He truly understands what is needed to deliver the continuation of the Bourne story line. Capturing the mixture of the world of espionage, the ever changing world of personal privacy and the necessity of brute force to achieve the ends of these intelligence agency conflicts, this seasoned director weaves a brilliant tale that will lure audiences back for more. Greengrass capitalises on Bourne’s continual challenge of finding his identity and putting together the confusing puzzle of his past. This might seem tiresome after so many years, but the Jason Bourne team continues to provide enough drama to find another successful combination. They walk the fine line of the advanced surveillance techniques and the brutal reality of agents working on the ground, to find the truth that keeps this concept alive.
Complementing Damon’s return to the Bourne storyline, Stiles provides the link to the previous trilogy and helps us also to transition into this new era. Assisting in this newer chapter of espionage is the welcomed inclusion of Jones and Vikander. Jones gives light to Bourne’s hardened past and Vikander brings a youthful vitality for the future of this franchise. These characters manage to successfully link the decades of Bourne’s world and push the story into this present reality.
Greengrass and Damon provide everything that audiences have come to expect and want from this franchise. The chase scenes, the sordid dealings of the CIA and the beautifully choreographed fight scenes are carried along by a suspension of disbelief. However, this does present the key weakness to this genre and franchise. Bourne is not a superhero, but his abilities to withstand and walk away from situations that would keep most battle-hardened comic-book heroes down, does push the boundaries of escapism. In the attempt to raise the bar in action, the key difficulty with this series is always believability. But, come on, who goes to see Bourne with an expectation of reality?
The Jason Bourne team again delivers the very thing people want: a strong villain, Bourne seeking something from his past, sexual tension with a key female lead, and action, action, action. That is the best way to describe Jason Bourne and it will satisfy all of the fans who have missed this character for the past decade.
What are some of the bigger questions to consider from this film?
Who can you trust? In this world that has become more and more interconnected, it has become less obvious who we can trust. Knowing who is the bearer of truth and justice. The government, schools and even churches have proven to be suspect, when it comes to trust. Thankfully, there is one place that the truth can still be found. Not to sound cliched, but the Bible does provide answers to this trust issue… and much, much more.
Where do you go in the Bible to find answers on trust and truth?
John 14, The book of Romans, Proverbs 3:5-6, Psalm 37:4-6, Hebrews 11