HOLLYWOOD—I have been eagerly waiting for the return of Matt Damon to the “Bourne” franchise. I can honestly say this is the one franchise where it seems each installment gets better than the previous one. Ok, we can debate the status of “The Bourne Legacy,” but we all know Damon was missing from that chapter. Well after close to 10 years, Damon returns for “Jason Bourne.” Yes, Damon’s presence is evident, as is the craftsmanship of director Paul Greengrass who helmed “The Bourne Supremacy” and “The Bourne Ultimatum.”
This latest installment finds Jason Bourne (Damon) off the grid and doing all in his power to live a somewhat normal life, but his past is continuing to haunt him. Just when he thinks all is good, he gets a visit from his former enemy turned ally Nicky Parsons (Julia Stiles) that totally changes everything that Jason or the audience thought they knew about this character.
There have been plenty of critics who have talked in a mildly positive approach about this latest installment, but I really question those critics. The narrative this time around is linear, not too convoluted to confuse the audience, and introduces some new characters that are just a thrill to watch on the screen. Yes, I’m pointing to you Alicia Vikander, who portrays Heather Lee, a CIA operative whose intelligence is quite scary to say the least.
Vikander brings a breath of fresh air to the franchise, and is a character introduced so fluidly that the audience instantly connects with her. Rather you trust her or not on first glance is debatable, but it’s a treat each time she pops up on the screen.
When she discovers someone has hacked confidential files that could dismantle the CIA she leads an effort to track down Bourne and bring him back to the agency. Little does Lee know Bourne is not just any operative, he’s the best! Lee goes toe-to-toe with her boss Robert Dewey (Tommy Lee Jones). Jones brings a level of secrecy and poise to a character, who we all know is the villain, but he doesn’t have to do too much to convince the spectator that he is not one to be messed with or double-crossed. I will admit hands down, Robert Dewey might be one the best villains in the entire franchise.
It’s hard to talk narrative here, without spoiling too much, but it involves Jason learning some secrets about his past, Treadstone and his father that is eye-opening for our hero. That information sends him on a journey not just for vengeance, but for answers and a bit of self-discovery along the way. Jason Bourne is an assassin; he knows that quite well, and the sooner he acknowledges it the better. Especially, when he comes face-to-face with Vincent Cassel, who proves his skill set is just as strong as Jason’s if not better at times.
This movie has some epic chase sequences, some epic hand-to-hand combats, gun battles that will leave you talking and I can’t help, but tease that climax that takes place in Las Vegas of all places. It is so enthralling to watch on the big screen, you WILL NOT be able to take your eyes of the screen. I’m still wondering just how in the world they managed to craft such a visceral car sequence.
“Jason Bourne” might be one of the most exciting and fun movies I’ve seen so far in 2016. I can honestly say this is the only flick I never checked my phone or looked at my watch ONCE while watching. This movie will suture you with the snap of a finger and leave you talking way after the credits have started rolling. I can honestly say I’m probably going to see this flick a second time in theaters. That is a rarity for me people, so that should be saying something!