Think of this film as a big fat apology for the lame Jeremy Renner Bourne movie we were stuck with a few years ago.
Matt Damon is back as Jason Bourne, and he has many many issues to sort out (it’s hard to find a good therapist who will travel from Greece to Italy to London with you as you go toe-to-toe with the Military Industrial Complex). His old comrade, Nicky Parsons (Julia Stiles), has been working for a big time hacker, and she has discovered information that is intriguing enough to draw in Bourne from his self-imposed exile.
CIA Director Robert Dewey (Tommy Lee Jones) is obsessed with gathering all of the intel available to battle terrorism, and doesn’t care if your personal freedom and liberty is trampled on in the process. Also, he has brought back the program that created Jason Bourne, but something else has come to light, which means THIS TIME IT IS PERSONAL!
Why does Bourne want to get to the bottom of this?
Will CIA tech wizard and chief Heather Lee (Alicia Vikander) find Bourne first?
If Jeremy Renner wasn’t proof enough that you can’t do a Bourne movie without Damon, Damon proves it again in Jason Bourne.
While many people are heading to the Cineplex to see the explosions, car chases, hand-to-hand combat and all around wanton destruction a Bourne movie promises, Damon is excellent showing us how Jason Bourne has become beleaguered, beaten, tired and all around haggard from years of hiding in the shadows and attempting to come to grips with his past.
Looking into the emptiness of his hollow eyes or the overall world weariness of how he carries himself, Damon humanizes Bourne in new, interesting ways as the film moves through some obvious and cliché twists.
Then, director Paul Greengrass makes sure the audience gets the action and tension we crave (and demand).
Jones seems to come to life in his amazing, climactic scene with Damon as we watch the two characters circling each other physically and mentally. Jones gives a true evil streak to Dewey that is cold as ice, but never lets the scene get too out of control. This is an understated, but fully charged, moment making Dewey into some sort of serpent tempting Bourne to take a bite of the apple.
Just when you think Jason Bourne might be going cerebral, Greengrass follows that up with an outrageous chase and one of the most visceral, brutal fight scenes ever recorded on film. He doesn’t rely as much on his signature cinema verite look and feel to filming the movie complete with lots of shaky cameras, but brings enough to maintain the style we expect from a Bourne movie.
It takes a while for the whole story to come together, but you should be glad to stick around for the big reveal.
Maybe they should end it now, but the closing moments indicate those who profit from these movies are hoping for a sequel.
3 Waffles (Out of 4)
Jason Bourne is rated PG-13 for intense sequences of violence and action, and brief strong language.