Matt Damon's world weary Jason Bourne
Las Vegas car chase - incredible
The Las Vegas "Casino Walk" is a bore.
Matt Damon and director Paul Greengrass team up again to bring this kinetic franchise back to life after a 9 year hiatus (excepting the entertaining but ultimately forgettable The Bourne Legacy.) While Damon’s last Bourne picture (2007’s Ultimatum) ended on a somewhat hopeful note, Jason Bourne opens with the revelation that the character has had to live on the run, increasingly on the margins of society. When a familiar face (returning Julia Stiles) makes contact, Bourne is suddenly on the radar of the CIA and back on the run.
Jason Bourne has plenty of action, and yet I found myself bored and distracted during parts of the picture – not a good sign for an action picture. There is a seemingly endless scene of all the players walking fast through a Las Vegas casino . . . to exciting music. I thought it would never end. It reminded me of the very good scene in The Bourne Supremacy where Jason Bourne guides a reporter through a crowded public space. That scene had real tension while this one just seems like everyone had some bad shrimp at the buffet and are making a hasty move to the nearest facilities.
Despite that ponderous lull in the momentum, the action erupts into an impressive car chase and finale which felt really satisfying. The action is staged much like we’ve seen in previous installments, but Greengrass does reign in the shaky cam, giving the aging vestibular systems of his target demographic a much welcome respite. As a result, the visual narration is cleaner and in my opinion, more exciting.
Tommy Lee Jones plays CIA Director Robert Dewey but it could have been anyone playing the part really. The real treat here is the very versatile Alicia Vikander playing CIA analyst Heather Lee. She’s been very busy in smaller pictures and indie films. She brings something unique to this summer tentpole and I have to say, the final character beat with her is another reason to sit through the “Casino Walk” sequence.
Ultimately, I’m not sure Jason Bourne was a necessary entry to the franchise. But it was fun to see a world weary version of Jason Bourne step out of the shadows one more time.