Cast: Matt Damon, Alicia Vikander, Julia Stiles, Tommy Lee Jones and Vincent Cassel
Director: Paul Greengrass
The Bourne series has been one tenacious, twisted plot revolving around the idea of national security and unethical things that happen under the cover of such agendas. The attempt of creating a Frankenstein mostly results in something disastrous for everyone. This one is simply trying to destroy its creators. While each Bourne movie takes the chase to the next level, this one finally gives you some release. Paul Greengrass has been with the series for a long time, and it is his association that somehow brings a very interesting cohesiveness between the movies separated by four-five years. One can feel the evolutionary track the movie is taking. It is not stuck in time. While Jason Bourne (Matt Damon), Robert Dewey (Tommy Lee Jones) and Asset (Vincent Cassel) are regular faces, rest of the cast is new and Heather Lee (Alicia Vikander) joining the team is just fabulous.
Matt Damon is also the producer of the series, and with this instalment one wonders if they would make the next, as there is not much planting of the leads. The personal vendetta seems to be solved and the national interest might be the only reason the all-powerful might come back to him. Given it is Alicia, who would be heading the department, I doubt it will be as desperate as it has been so far. The single question about Jason’s true identity is been the driving force behind the series. Having a complete memory wiped and being trained as a lethal weapon, his true personality is his largest dilemma, and his quest has often lead him to discoveries of more covert operations, secret projects that have the potential to turn dangerous by exercising untameable power. Jason Bourne’s concern was not to stop these projects or destroy the powers that be, but to find out about his past, family and life.
The movie does go a few steps ahead and makes some strong political statements. How a war is created, how the need for arbitrary power-hungry projects is established by the acts of created terrorism. How sometimes to convince people and make them scared for their lives one commits a dreadful act in order to then provide them a sense of security. The convoluted project in the movie strikes a strong resemblance with the superhigh-tech security organisation in the US that is listening to everything one does online, and how large social networks are being funded and promoted to get everyone on the grid, so they could be monitored.
The character who stands out more than Jason Bourne is Asset, his ruthlessness and explosive abilities are too far from anything that one would see in the real world. But it is fun to watch him get destroyed. That’s the emotional release that this one promises you, and if you have been hung on to Jason Bourne like I have, then this one is a must watch. If however, you would like to stay away from the conspiracy theories then this one offers just enough action, speed and a hint of emotion. Don’t be bothered by the flashy special effects, they can be ignored. Some people make a choice, but others are forced to make the choice by some vicious tactics employed by the masterminds, and although we are all equally in for what consequences those choices would bring, we are not all as capable as Jason, and hence we are all poised to fail. But this is not what the story is about.
It will be a mistake to equate yourself with the character even for a second. It is not your story, not mine, it is his. Keeping that distance sure helps. That distance would also help in absorbing the pace of the story, and since Jason has been chasing his past for so long, the pace was bound to get faster, add to that the 3D visuals and it gets slightly painful for the eyes in moments that are either too dark or filled with too much action. The most incredible bit, however, is the placement of the story. It starts off from a very interesting moment in Greek riots that took place around three months ago. It is a technical mastery to be able to place the characters amidst those violent protests, but what’s more troublesome is a violent riot that has its own socio-political reasons embroiled in a movie plot, now it could either become a good document of the riot, or it could simply end up erasing the memory of public uprising and transforming it into a cinematic memory for the rest of the world. Something that might not have happened in the real world, at least not in the way it happened.
The writer is founder, Lightcube Film Society...