Jason Bourne

Film, Thrillers
3 out of 5 stars
Jason Bourne

Time Out says

3 out of 5 stars

Bourne is back! But did we really need a fourth spy caper?

Matt Damon and Paul Greengrass prompted widespread surprise with their decision to return to the Bourne series, despite the neat closure of trilogy capper The Bourne Ultimatum. Surely, we assumed, they must have a great reason to come back: some incredible twist, some shocking plot development that made this fourth story (not counting Jeremy Renner in ropey spin-off The Bourne Legacy) indispensable. They couldn’t just be doing it for the money, could they?

We reconnect with Jason Bourne on a Rambo-style retreat, punching out muscly chumps for cash in some East European backwater. But when his old contact Nicky (Julia Stiles) gets in touch promising revelations about Bourne’s father, supposedly murdered by terrorists back in the ’80s, our hero heads to Greece and back into the fray. Meanwhile, well-meaning Zuckerberg-alike social media guru (Riz Ahmed) is regretting a devil’s deal he made with bureau director Dewey (Tommy Lee Jones, looking more and more like a meteorite with eyes). Then there’s a thrusting young agency operative (Alicia Vikander), who’s working to join all the dots.

So basically, it’s business as usual: a devious old bureaucrat out to punch Bourne’s clock, the taciturn Euro-assassin (Vincent Cassel, wasted) hired to do it and an icy female agent enticed by Jason’s masculine allure. And at the centre of it all is our tight-lipped hero charging about and hitting people. The nearest Jason Bourne (could that title be any more bland?) has to a USP is the paternal angle, and it’s nowhere near enough: we’re never given a reason to care who Bourne’s dad was, or what he was up to.

But when the talking stops the film takes off, with a pair of bone-rattling chases set in Athens and Las Vegas that cause maximum damage to people, property and the audience’s eardrums. A bracing reminder of how fiercely efficient Greengrass can be, these scenes just about justify the existence of Jason Bourne. But, please, no more.


Release details

Release date:
Wednesday July 27 2016
123 mins

Cast and crew

Paul Greengrass
Paul Greengrass, Christopher Rouse
Matt Damon
Alicia Vikander
Julia Stiles
Vincent Cassel
Tommy Lee Jones
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