(director/writer: Paul Greengrass; screenwriters: Christopher Rouse /based on characters by Robert Ludlum; cinematographer: Barry Ackroyd; editor: Christopher Rouse; music: John Powell/David Brinkley; cast: Matt Damon (Jason Bourne), Tommy Lee Jones (CIA Director Dewey), Alicia Vikander (Heather Lee), Vincent Cassel (Asset), Julia Stiles (Nicky Parsons), Riz Ahmed (Aaron Kalloor), Ato Essandoh (Craig Jeffers), Scott Shepherd (NI Director Russell), Bill Camp (Malcolm Smit), Gregg Henry (Richard Webb), Vinzene Kiefer (Christian Dassault), Stephen Kunken (Baumen); Runtime: 123; MPAA Rating: PG-13; producers: Frank Marshall, Jeffrey M. Weiner, Ben Smith, Matt Damon, Paul Greengrass, Gregory Goodman; Universal Pictures; 2016)
“The re-teaming of Greengrass and Matt Damon once again produces a gem.”
Reviewed by Dennis Schwartz
Paul Greengrass (“Barca”/”Captain Phillips”) is director and co-writer of this popular franchise thriller, the fourth film in the series. The re-teaming of Greengrass and Matt Damon once again produces a gem. It’s co-written by Christopher Rouse, and based on characters created by Robert Ludlum. In this superior episode, the former lethal CIA assassin Jason Bourne (Matt Damon) resurfaces from the shadows after being off the grid for years and regains his lost memory thanks to reading the files on him downloaded by a friendly runaway CIA hacker, Nicky Parsons (Julia Styles). With a new CIA black ops in the works, Bourne seeks revenge on the unethical CIA head Bob Dewey (Tommy Lee Jones) who promotes illegal undercover operations in the name of patriotism. Bourne has been surviving on-the-run by fighting unsanctioned street bare-knuckle fights for small change. In Athens, after such a bout, he meets runaway CIA hacker Nicky Parsons (Julia Styles), his former CIA contact. They are tracked down at a demonstration in Athens and Nicky is eliminated by the menacing French assassin hired by the CIA, who is known as the Asset (Vincent Cassel). Bourne escapes and treks to Berlin to learn more about the classified black ops projects from radical hackers. He also learns more about his past, and that the CIA director had ordered Asset to eliminate his father (Gregg Henry) for protesting the dubious operation his father created and then rejected. In Rome there’s a wild chase scene through the crowded streets and in the Las Vegas climax sequence there’s an outrageous one involving SWAT team trucks and the Hotel Riviera. The screen is always alive with action– ranging from gunfire, GPS tracking and the usual volatile action film stuff. The ambitious CIA senior analyst Heather Lee (Alicia Vikander) is viewed as someone in the CIA that Bourne might be able to bargain with if he can believe she wants to bring him back into the CIA rather than to eliminate him. Aaron Kalloor (Riz Ahmed) plays the sleazy billionaire geek CEO of a hot social media website, based in Silicon Valley, who made a Faustian deal with the devil CIA director to spy on his customers and now has second thoughts about the launching of his Deep Dream Corporation. There’s a half-hearted attempt made to tell us about the Internet conflict over privacy and public security issues. However, the main energy of the film is determined by the hyper-action sequences, the riveting real-world story-line and the terrific Matt Damon no-nonsense tense performance.
REVIEWED ON 7/29/2016 GRADE: B+