5 Reasons to get excited for "Jason Bourne"
Writer: Casey Chong
(Matt Damon) in an action scene from "Jason Bourne".
Once upon a time, the "Bourne" movies were known as the "James Bond of the 21st century".
Thanks to a then-younger cast in the form of Matt Damon and its gritty approach of the age-old espionage genre, the "Bourne" movies, especially the original 2002-2007 trilogy became a box-office powerhouse and emerged as one of the studio's (Universal) most lucrative franchises of the millennium era.
In fact, there was a time when even Daniel Craig (James Bond) himself tried to play a "Bourne" like spy in 2008's "Quantum Of Solace". Fast forward to 2016, the famous amnesiac spy is back with this summer's highly-anticipated sequel via its straight-forward title, "Jason Bourne".
To coincide with its release in cinemas today, here are five reasons why we are excited for Matt Damon and director Paul Greengrass to make their comeback in "Jason Bourne"!
1. Two words: Matt Damon
Matt Damon is back as the titular character in "Jason Bourne".
No offence to Jeremy Renner and his character Aaron Cross in "The Bourne Legacy", but the real deal for the "Bourne" movies still remains as none other than Bourne himself – Matt Damon. After all, he was the one who brought the now-iconic amnesiac spy character to life via three successful "Bourne" movies including "The Bourne Identity" (2002), "The Bourne Supremacy" (2004) and "The Bourne Ultimatum" (2007). Now that he's back after nine years since his third Bourne movie, we are definitely looking forward to Damon's engaging screen presence and more of his nifty fighting styles!
2. The return of Paul Greengrass
Director Paul Greengrass and Matt Damon are back for the third time after
"The Bourne Supremacy" and "The Bourne Ultimatum".
Although Doug Liman was the one that brought the late Robert Ludlum's "Bourne" novels to cinematic life via "The Bourne Identity" - and did a splendid job with the source material - it wasn't really until the documentarian-turned-feature filmmaker Paul Greengrass took "The Bourne Supremacy" and "The Bourne Ultimatum" to greater heights. Eschewing the old-school shooting style preceded by Doug Liman's directorial effort, Paul Greengrass was bold enough to refashion the otherwise slick-looking "Bourne" movies into a quasi-documentary yet gritty espionage thriller. The result gave both "The Bourne Supremacy" and "The Bourne Ultimatum" a gripping sense of 'you-are-there' cinematic urgency. With his trademark handheld camera making a return for "Jason Bourne", we are counting on him to turn this "Bourne" movie into a cinematic juggernaut once again.
3. Tommy Lee Jones
(L-R) Robert Dewey (Tommy Lee Jones) and Bourne (Matt Damon)
in a scene from "Jason Bourne".
Although it's safe to say that Matt Damon is the one that made the original "Bourne" trilogy such an engaging cinematic experience, those movies wouldn't have worked out smoothly if not for its strong supporting cast. Over the course of three Bourne movies and to a certain extent, the Damon-less "The Bourne Legacy", we had a roster of great supporting actors including Chris Cooper, Brian Cox, Joan Allen, David Strathairn, Scott Glenn, Edward Norton and Albert Finney. The upcoming "Jason Bourne" is no different, as the movie will introduce Tommy Lee Jones as the new CIA director, Robert Dewey. No stranger to playing authoritative roles in the past, Jones is famously known for his no-nonsense performance as the U.S. Marshal, Deputy Samuel Gerard in "The Fugitive" (1993).
4. New female lead
Heather Lee (Alicia Vikander) plays a CIA agent.
All the "Bourne" movies are not just about the male-driven characters, as the franchise also made a good impression by inserting female leads. Both "The Bourne Identity" and "The Bourne Supremacy" had a strong female lead in the form of German actress Franka Potente, who plays Bourne's girlfriend Marie. Then there's Julia Stiles who appeared in every one of the three original "Bourne" movies as the logistics-based CIA operative Nicky Parsons even though her character only expanded into a larger role in "The Bourne Ultimatum". In "Jason Bourne" Alicia Vikander plays the ambitious CIA agent, Heather Lee. This would mark her second time to play a role for the espionage genre after last year's "The Man from U.N.C.L.E.". And last year alone, the Swedish actress quickly rose to Hollywood stardom following her Oscar-winning performance in "The Danish Girl" and her critically-acclaimed role in "Ex Machina".
5. The chase scene
The epic Las Vegas-set chase scene in "Jason Bourne".
No "Bourne" movie would be complete without a mention of the series' signature chase scenes. In "The Bourne Identity", we had the Mini Cooper chase through the streets of Paris. Then in "The Bourne Supremacy", we witnessed the hair-raising Moscow-set taxi chase scene. As for "The Bourne Ultimatum", there was the exhilarating car chase through the crowded streets of New York City. Finally, "The Bourne Legacy" featured a spectacular motorcycle chase set in Manila. In "Jason Bourne", the latest movie will continue the series' tradition by including an epic chase scene filmed on location in Las Vegas.
Cinema Online, 28 July 2016
"Jason Bourne" is now showing in cinemas.