Jason Bourne – Back to Basics, Breathtaking Art of Mayhem

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Matt Damon as Jason Bourne with Julia Stiles as Nickki Parsons, in Jason Bourne

This was my day to be Bourne again.

Bourne, Jason Bourne as played by heartthrob American actor Matt Damon, is a disaffected American government agent, one who disappeared off our silver screens for a whole decade after gaining the hearts and minds of a huge fan base during the first decade of the 21st century.

The continuing call to bring Jason Bourne back was finally answered, when the original director Paul Greengrass gathered as much of his original crew around him, including Christopher Rouse as a co-writer for, I would venture to suggest, one last time.

Like so many other people however, I will and do remain an optimist.

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Matt Damon as Jason Bourne

This, one of the most anticipated movies of the year with Matt Damon, reprising perhaps his most famous role as the gritty far more believable hero than the chic sophisticated British agent James Bond, is now in cinemas and it doesn’t let its large fan base down.

I became a follower of Jason Bourne during the 80’s, discovering him first in the pages of a trio of amazing Bourne paperbacks from the genius of the imagination of the late author Robert Ludlum. While that era ended really with his death, such was the demand for the books of his hero’s exploits, they were continued by Eric Van Lustbader.

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Matt Damon as Jason Bourne

Jason Bourne arrived on our silver screens in the Bourne Identity (2002). Nothing quite like it had been seen before, where the action went from go to whoa. While he seemed real, we had to suspend reality when following his extraordinary exploits and he built an awesome reputation for the breathtaking art of mayhem, brought about by his extreme ways.

At first Jason Bourne was struggling to remember who he was in the CIA grand scheme of things, after falling off a ship in the middle of the ocean and losing his memory.

Then surviving against all odds to meet up and go on an incredible journey with his girlfriend Marie Kreutz (Franka Potente), at the end of the first maelstrom he caused, he ended up on the idyllic Greek island of Mykonos and we all knew he would be back, and couldn’t wait.

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Vincent Cassell as The Asset in Jason Bourne

When we met up with them both again two years later in The Bourne Supremacy (2004), they had moved to a beachside location in India, becoming very adept at keeping off the radar so the CIA wouldn’t find them. But, it seems that even for the best their precision like plans, just like those ‘of mice and men’, do always go astray.

Suddenly one day they find themselves suddenly once more fleeing for their lives as they become embroiled in another CIA black ops conspiracy.

This results in the death of the girl Bourne trusted and loved, when their car goes off a bridge into a river. Another woman comes into play at this time, Pamela Landy (Joan Allen) although she’s more a motherly figure. At the end as she tries to discover the truth, and not trusting the people she is working with, comes down on Jason’s side, offering him new hope.

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Matt Damon as Jason Bourne with Julia Stiles as Nickki Parsons, in Jason Bourne

Third time around its the Bourne Ultimatum (2007) three years later, when Jason Bourne is finally beginning to understand more about his supreme abilities. He is also now helped by agent Nikki Parsons (Julia Stiles) his co-ordinator off the grid, who materializes at his side.

They became a tour de force and in a fabulous chase that takes place in Tangiers which ends in death, Jason sends her far away from him, hoping that by being separated they will both survive.

Having read his files Landy divulges to Bourne a lot more about his story and the state of the hierarchy around her. Finally, Bourne disappeared for the next decade after swan diving ten stories off a building into the river.

Damon and Greengrass needed a rest, but the studio that produced the movies wanted to keep the coins rolling in and there was an offshoot showing what his legacy meant with Jeremy Renner, which stood on its own.

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Matt Damon as Jason Bourne

However the only way really to end it all and finalise the story about the many questions that still remained about this charismatic character was for the original Director Paul Greengrass and his superstar Matt Damon to bring Jason Bourne back, at least one more time.

In this they solve all the mysteries  and help both the CIA and their dedicated audience to move on. They will surely be among those flocking to see this chapter.

Must say that I found myself arranging my day to be at the first session possible. I even had to put up with low lights first up as it was a ‘babes’ session! Will have to go back again and see it in the dark! Well don’t be too harsh, I raised three sons and action movies were integral to our story.

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Matt Damon as Jason Bourne, bare knuckle fighter

Buckle up your seat belts; this is Jason Bourne, so you are in for a bumpy ride.

Having said that I don’t want to go into presenting you with a whole lot of spoilers either, because for dedicated fans this a movie to be experienced and savoured.

You need to just roll with the punches and, there are plenty of those, as well as motorbike and car chases that you do have to see to believe. My goodness, there are a lot of crazy stunt men out there.

Matt Damon is back in ‘shape’ muscled up and ready to take anyone down he has to, leaving alive those he doesn’t. Julia Stiles as Nikki Parsons is there too, helping him from afar as yet another CIA black ops gig Ironhand, distinct from the former Blackbriar and Treadstone and others, now raises its ugly head.

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Alicia Vikander as Heather Lee with Tommy Lee Jones as CIA Director Robert Dewey in Jason Bourne

The team on the side of ‘right’ are led by a corrupt CIA official (a shadowy figure in the past) Robert Dewey played with his usual elan by Tommy Lee Jones, who these days is looking decidedly craggy indeed.

Then there is a secret operative finally drawn out of the shadows so we, along with Jason Bourne, aka David Webb, can get back to basics and discover all the facts about his life’s journey. It’s not pretty.

Academy award winning actress Alicia Vikander is a wonderful choice for the new wiz bang young talented ambitious FBI agent. She brilliantly tracks Jason and Nikki both down using all the technology available to her and how damn scary it is.

The old asset to take Bourne out (Vincent Cassell) is back, driven forward ruthlessly by revenge, as he does his best to take his old adversary down.

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The Asset (Vincent Cassell) is on target in Jason Bourne

A new player on the scene also being manipulated by the CIA chief is the brain behind a new social media platform Deep Dream, Aaron Kalloor (Riz Ahmed).

He has been recruited and is being shaken down by CIA Director Dewey to give the agency a backdoor into his new social media platform, so that they can obtain private and secure information about all their clients.

This movie plot and the action all comes down to ‘intelligence’ in the end, because just having all the tech tools turns out to be still not enough against the indomitable Jason Bourne.

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Alicia Vikander as Heather Lee and Matt Damon as Jason Bourne

I loved the ending… Bourne is a man of few words who takes action and it all boils down to a case of youthful arrogance versus age and experience, which at the punch line prevails. Genius.

Look, I am a huge fan (how did you guess) and in many ways for people like me I am sure, this is a flawless presentation. That being said if I was the producer I would now walk away. Bourne’s done.

All the i’s have been dotted and the t’s crossed. Matt and Paul will both happily be able to retire him now, that is unless the youthful Alicia can entice them all back so he can fight on the side of the law, not against it.

Just have to give the movie Jason Bourne full marks. It didn’t disappoint me and I will spend the rest of my day and night rocking out to the theme track and most especially to Moby’s truly fabulous end music – Extreme Ways… oh yeh!

Carolyn McDowall, The Culture Concept Circle, 2016

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