Walking into the cinema… Matt Damon + Paul Greengrass = All things are right in the world
Bourne is back. Even the most avid fan of Jeremy Renner would have to admit that the face of the Bourne franchise belongs to Matt Damon. Even with minimal dialogue and enough action to last for another decade, Damon truly encapsulates this psychologically confused agent. It is hard to imagine that it has been 10 years since Damon took on his alter-ego, but he is back and it just feels so right.
Leaping over the forgettable Bourne Legacy, the story finds Jason living off the grid and residing in the seedier side of the world. A life that is as chaotic as when he disappeared a 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 answers to Jason’s past and 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 the former agent and this well-trained hacker. Counter intelligence expert, Heather Lee (Alicia Vikander) must work to find the answers to the agency hack and determine which side of this internal war that Bourne is on. The game is afoot and both sides must travel around the world to find the answers that they are searching for 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 to 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 this 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, Julia Stiles provides the link to the previous trilogy to make the transition into this new era. Assisting in this newer chapter of espionage is the welcomed inclusion of Tommy Lee Jones and Alicia Vikander to the cast. 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 Jason’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 series. The chase scenes, the sordid dealings of the CIA and the beautifully choreographed fight scenes are carried along by a suspension of disbelief in these combat sequences. 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 believability, but who goes to see Bourne with an expectation of reality? This team is delivering the very thing people want: a good villain, Bourne seeking something from his past, sexual tension between 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.
REEL DIALOGUE: 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 question and 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
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