Review: Top action but mixed return for Jason Bourne

Matt Damon as Jason Bourne
Matt Damon as Jason Bourne

Matt Adcock reviews Jason Bourne, starring Matt Damon and Alicia Vikander

So Matt Damon’s back – yes, he’s ‘Bourne again’ for a fourth espionage-em-up as rogue super-spy Jason Bourne.

The good news is that just by being in this entry to the franchise, Damon makes this better than the weak spin off The Bourne Legacy which proved that Jeremy Renner should really stick to Avengers films.

Also back is director Paul Greengrass and he certainly knows how to make an impressive action scene or two. In fact the two main action set pieces in Jason Bourne are both jaw-dropping works of high tension. The first is set against a violent protest rally in Greece and sees Bourne meeting up with fellow secret government program Treadstone agent Nicky Parsons (Julia ‘Dexter’ Stiles) – only to be pursued and shot at by the seemingly unstoppable ‘Asset’ (Vincent ‘Dobermann’ Cassel). In the second scene Bourne is still being pursued and shot at by the Asset but now in Las Vegas and the result is like a carmaggedon scene out of The Fast & Furious.

In between these two bookend action sections there is an awful lot of Bourne walking about looking puzzled and perplexed plus plenty of discussion amongst the CIA top brass who include Tommy Lee-Jones about ‘what are we going to do about Bourne?’. The plan the CIA go with is to let agent Heather Lee (the awesome Alicia ‘Ex Machina’ Vikander) try and bring Bourne back in. The back up plan is to have him killed. The thing is both of those are pretty tall orders due to the fact that Jason Bourne is a one man killing machine – a kind of ‘man with no name’ for the 21st century.

Jason Bourne packs some great cinematography and a killer soundtrack which both help make up for the fact that in places it gets a bit dull and confusing. Fans of the original trilogy will enjoy seeing Bourne kicking ass again but there’s little here that feels very innovative or new. Sure the plot has a ‘social media wrestling with government interference’ strand but even that is all a bit ‘Mr Robot’-lite. Otherwise it’s high tech hacking, getting chased, fighting and escaping again in between the tedious bouts of explanatory dialogue – basically Bourne business as usual.

Pick a date with Jason Bourne and you’ll be mostly entertained, just don’t expect him to call back. Although if this makes enough cash, it probably wont be the last we see of him.