Extreme ways are, indeed, back again!
In 2002, the world was introduced to a new anti-hero: Jason Bourne. Ever since The Bourne Identity, he tries to find answers on who he really is while the CIA is on his tail. The sequels, The Bourne Supremacy and The Bourne Ultimatum (the best film in the series), brings Paul Greengrass’ handheld camera work into good use, either it’s the brisk-paced energy of the action sequences or slowing down in order for the movie to explain how Bourne became such a badass. During his nine-year disappearance, another agent decides to finish what Bourne had started in The Bourne Legacy, which it isn’t terrible, but it’s easily forgettable. With Jason Bourne, now I can sigh with relief. It’s great to see Bourne back in action and Paul Greengrass back in the director’s chair nine years after Ultimatum.
We open the movie with our hero (Matt Damon) in Greece recovering from his amnesia. He spends his time becoming part of illegal fighting matches. Meanwhile, new CIA director Robert Dewey (Tommy Lee Jones) and hacker expert Heather Lee (Alicia Vikander) are out to stop Bourne once and for all after his involvement with the Treadstone program. He is on the run once again. Along the way, he encounters Nicky Parsons (Julia Stiles) on the streets of Greece during a violent protest. Not only is he racing around the clock but also around the world while Bourne tries to take down a network, led by social media extraordinaire Aaron Kalloor (Riz Ahmed), that might put a stop to hacking.
The handheld direction by Greengrass might not be everyone’s cup of tea. Some people have to get used to it. If it worked in the two Bourne sequels and Captain Phillips, it certainly works here. It is rare, nowadays, for a summer blockbuster to have practical stunts. It gives the film a raw outlook of international justice. Damon kills it again as Bourne whose past comes back to haunt him while beating up bad guys along the way. It features two of the best action set pieces that you will see all year. Despite the formula staying the same and the supporting characters being underused (e.g. Alicia Vikander, who is great as she’s always been), I had a blast seeing it in theaters.