Wednesday, 27 July 2016
REVIEW: JASON BOURNE
123 Mins. Starring: Matt Damon, Julia Stiles, Alicia Vikander, Vincent Cassell, Riz Ahmed, Ato Essandoh & Tommy Lee Jones. Director: Paul Greengrass.
Consider this a rebirth. Resurrection. After Jeremy Renner's Hawkeye looked to carry on 'The Bourne Legacy' in twenty twelve, you just knew you couldn't really do Robert Ludlem's novel character without the legend. 'Jason Bourne' himself. Matt Damon. No matter how good a franchise actor the Avenging Renner is. Just like being the choice to carry on Ethan Hunt's 'Mission Impossible's' it's hard to accept it without Tom Cruise. At least Clint Barton's brought his bow and arrow out of retirement for a straight shooting pluck in 'Civil War'. Truth be told however Jeremy forged quite the legacy, spying a spin-off. But Matt just remains the most marketable man in Hollywood. America have been searching for this spy for too long. Saving this 'Private Ryan'. Going 'Interstellar' and out of this world...twice, looking for this 'Martian' lost in space. But after proving in his "alien" blockbuster with Ridley Scott last year that he could survive life on mars living off just potatoes harvested from his own poop, Batman's best friend proved he really was the s####. Now it's no ultimatium reuniting with trilogy and 'Green Zone' director Paul Greengrass-who has recently been lost at sea with a tense and terrific, pirate cast away Tom Hanks as 'Captain Phillips'-it's supremacy.
Bond for the Bauer generation, you have to say you just love watching Bourne...even if someone can be forgiven for shockingly mis-hearing you. Hardcore spy films have been a good lookout for quite some time. They are as traditional as vintage Vodka Martini's...no matter how they come served. In last years 'Spectre' of espionage thrillers 'Mission Impossible' faced a 'Rogue Nation' and we even saw the return of another 60's classic (no, not Austin Powers) in 'The Man From U.N.C.L.E.'. Where Henry Cavill went all cavalier against characteristic Clark Kent type and showed just how charismatic he was with his own double-0 audition. Even new 'Ghostbuster' Melissa McCarthy and the proton to her pack, director Paul Feig couldn't help but get in on the action with their silly, but seriously funny 'Spy' paradoy. Still even in the year of 007 James you can't call it a spy game without Jason and that's why Matt is back after his career redux drawing power from the red planet. Even if it looked like Renner was going to be the first of many actors to take on the Bourne mantle like multiple Bonds the only thing from 'The Hurt Locker' here is their classic cinematographer. Damon remains Connery on this one. The one, true and only. Although we'd hold our collective breaths for however long it takes to see both on screen for the ultimate 'Bourne' crossover mash-up. Just like hold out for that Moby themed finale every film after J.B. gets one over somebody or can tell how tired they look from a snipers scope distance. Forget Tyrese Gibson's crazy but entertaining idea of having Jason Bourne join the 'Fast & Furious' team and franchise. He will just have to settle for the 'Fury Road' of Charlize Theron...we know we could cope. And if Robert Ludlum is to Bourne what Ian Fleming is too Bond and Matt Damon, Sean Connery. Then Greengrass is Sam Mendes. Or is that the other way round? I spy...
Green lighting the tensest action from classic espionage cobbled streets of Europe, mopping up all the Metro area action back on a moped again, to the neon of Nevada, Greengrass gives his respawned Bourne all the zones to play in. You think that mini-car chase that paid homage to the identity of Gene Hackman's 'French Connection' really hit and connected? Well just wait until you see Jason strip down every vehicle on Las Vegas boulevard, breaking dreams like casinos in a classic car carnage scene that just won't stop pileing up the set pieces. The last time Damon got away with something like this in Sin City he had George Clooney and Brad Pitt by his side...not to mention the rest of the 'Oceans'. Now one-upping a trilogy a bare knuckled and chested jacked Damon is swinging back as Bourne...even without a book. Forget by the book. Damon goes against it all. Superhero blockbusters, special effects, father time...Kimmel. Not to mention a class cast. From Oscar winning 'Danish Girl' of the moment and former 'Ex Machina' android actress Alicia Vikander, on the versatile form of her young life. To a stirring Julia Stiles...you didn't just think it was Bourne returning did you? And 'Nightcrawler' shotgun star Riz Ahmed creeping through the online service and servers public vs privacy debate with a real voice. To familiar face from 'Hitch', 'Get Him To The Greek' and 'Django Unchained' Ato Essandoh on the confident breakout streak the back catalogue of his career deserves. But it's the veterans that give the best service...even if it is on the wrong side. Two of the most expressive faces in the business just get better with age. The callous villainy of Vincent Cassell is so good you just can't help but see him as nothing but bad. Whereas Tommy Lee Jones hasn't been at an official position like in a 90's blockbuster like this since he chased down 'The Fugitive'. But now on the other side of the law he hasn't been this sinister since he was 'Under Siege' either. Just look at the evil in his eyes when he orders his team to cut off the proverbial (we can only hope) head. Or in the same board meeting, beats later how calm he looks behind his desk and tie as he demands a girl be "put in a box" (we sure can only hope he doesn't mean a wooden one). You just knew that if Bourne was going to go on he had to have a legend stand in his way. And it doesn't get much bigger than this. From 'Independence Day' to the 'Apocalypse' if your sick of cinematic candy this blockbuster Summer it's time for your meat and potatoes. 'Jason Bourne' and the man who plays him, Matt Damon...the Tim Duncan of movies. Always getting it done even when we just take it for granted forget. All whilst showing those who dare to call them boring just how entertaining they really are. With all due respect to the raw and real Renner, 'Bourne' will always be Damon's identity. TIM DAVID HARVEY.