“It’s not a mistake. They don’t make mistakes. They don’t do random. There’s always an objective. Always a target.”
That’s a government agent describing Jason Bourne, played by Matt Damon, who must again survive the hunt as entities attack him on all fronts as he pieces together more elements about his development and experiences within a unique covert program.
A solid 108-minute action drama directed by Paul Greengrass (Bloody Sunday, Theory of Flight) who takes over for Doug Liman (Edge of Tomorrow) who directed The Bourne Identity. His effective fast-paced, documentary-style camerawork speaks volumes for his crew and talents, especially the point-of-view shot during an explosion sequence in an apartment complex with police arriving and tracking shot between moving vehicle during one of Jason’s many evasions from local law enforcement.
John Powell (Italian Job) returns to score the music along with Tony Gilroy who writes the screenplay with uncredited help from Brian Helgeland (L.A. Confidential, Mystic River). The hand held cameras and quick camera cuts enhance the emotional impact of the film, particularly the close quartered action sequences.
Based on the Robert Ludlam book series, Damon’s lead performance as Jason Bourne impresses even more in this installment. His low key, yet determined will permeates through every situation as he creatively uses surrounding elements to investigate, learn and even fight (e.g. a rolled up magazine has never been so deadly). His physical prowess impresses, but it’s an emotional sequence in a young woman’s apartment near the end that truly defines his character.
Returning characters include Julia Stiles as operative Nicky, Gabriel Mann as fellow operative Danny and Franka Potente (Run Lola Run) as Marie, Jason’s love interest. Chris Cooper, Jason’s previous manager (a.k.a. “handler”) also returns in a key flashback sequence that slowly rev.
Joan Allen makes her debut in this film series as the steadfast and objective Pamela Landy, an intelligent government agency leader who navigates the waves from a male dominated workplace while inserting a different perspective, talent set as they pursue and discover Jason’s recent and past activities. “There’s something you’re not telling me,” she counters after being grilled for supposedly managing the team’s field decisions incorrectly.
Brian Cox (X-Men) plays senior government agency leader Ward Abbott while Karl Urban (Star Trek, Dredd) impresses as a hired Russian assassin named Kirill. Marton Csokas (xXx) also has a key role as Jarda while Michelle Monaghan (Mission Impossible III) plays Kim, an agent on Pam’s team.
The stuntpeople and technical crew working on the film deserve high accolades, especially for the incredible car chase sequence. No special effects are used in this no-nonsense, gritty world that does not have time for elements like disguises and extravagant gadgets.
Filming location include Washington D.C., New York, India and various locations in Europe including Germany. Highly recommended (***1/2 out of four stars) and rated PG-13 for violence, intense action, and for brief language.
Copyright © Michael Siebenaler