Director: Paul Greengrass (The Bourne Ultimatum) Starring: Matt Damon, Alicia Vikander, Tommy Lee Jones, Vincent Cassel, Riz Ahmed, Julia Stiles Verdict: Bourne again, and no longer having a bad-head daze
TEMPERATURES are rising at political hotspots all over Europe. Big data is screwing the little guy. The US feds are getting carried away with their self-appointed role as the police of the Western world.
Therefore most long-time Bourne fans will heartily agree it is good to have the famed amnesiac assassin back doing what he does best.
Better still, he is played once more by Matt Damon, the actor who conveys the character’s industrialstrength angst best.
Now, it must be said that as a complete movie package, Jason Bourne does not quite summon the same levels of brain-snapping bravado as last decade’s trailblazing trilogy of Damon-powered vehicles.
Nevertheless, it does do a fine job of re-establishing a franchise that still has some fuel left in the tank for future instalments.
History shows Jase’s memory loss got so bad he plain forgot to show up for the last Bourne movie in 2012.
(That was the one where Jeremy Renner filled in by playing Bourne’s apprentice. Or was it his cousin? Or butler, maybe? No one really remembers.)
So what has become of Bourne in all that time off the grid? As the film begins, he is a semi-pro street-fighter in suburban Athens for a cut-price UFC outfit.
Thankfully, it ain’t long before Bourne is snapped out of his funk as a B-grade brawler. After receiving a cache of CIA files that restores his long-lost identity, Jason Bourne is a man on a mission (and with a memory!) once more.
From here, the plot expands to flashily flesh-out an all-new conspiracy around a black-ops CIA strategy code-named Ironhand.
This “full-spectrum global surveillance program” has been covertly developed by DeepDream, a fictional Facebook-Google hybrid run by entrepreneurial engineer Aaron Kalloor (Riz Ahmed).
While DeepDream dupes the world into thinking they can ensure complete privacy on the internet, every bit of info that passes through their servers goes in the grubby paws of CIA director Robert Dewey (Tommy Lee Jones).
As Mr Dewey is a bit of an oldtimer, his right-hand woman in navigating this vast ocean of illegally gained information is young genius data analyst Heather Lee (Alicia Vikander).
It is not nearly as complicated as it reads, really. Largely because the movie has a fresh identity crisis into which its title character must be plunged headlong.
Jason Bourne might well now know who he is. But does he know what he is?
This late-model Bourne is almost a Terminator in terms of toughness and temperament. On the evidence presented here, you can shoot him, knock him off a motorbike, or chase him off a tall building.
Sure as eggs, he’ll come to, dust himself off, and keep coming after you.