With Matt Damon back in the title role, Jason Bourne wisely ignores the events of The Bourne Legacy (2012), instead acting as a direct sequel to The Bourne Ultimatum (2007). After exposing the CIA’s Operation Blackbriar, Jason Bourne has been on the run for more than a decade. He is tracked down by former agent Nicky Parsons (Julia Stiles) who has uncovered new information about Blackbriar’s connection to Bourne past, but not before her hacking is discovered by the CIA’s Cyber Director, Heather Lee (Alicia Vikander). Now, Lee is determined to stop Parsons before she talks and bring Bourne in. At the same time, Lee’s boss, CIA Director Robert Dewey (Tommy Lee Jones) seems more determined to kill them both before the CIA’s new “black” spying program, Iron Hand goes live. The program, which gives the agency unfettered access to a large social media platform, will give them the power to watch anyone, anywhere, at any time, unless Bourne can stop it.
With writer/director Paul Greengrass back to guide the proceedings and Matt Damon in the role that seems tailor made for him, Jason Bourne returns the series to the psychological thriller/action mix that made the series so popular. The action sequences are intense, particularly two chase scenes that give the soundtrack a thorough workout. The story itself feels like something that could have been ripped from today’s headlines and never must stray far from a realistic feel to remain engaging.
Matt Damon is superb as Jason Bourne, both tough and conflicted, he’s a hero with a heart. It’s also great to see Julia Stiles as Nicky Parsons, Jason shows genuine feeling when she’s around. While it’s worth noting there’s a great cameo by Albert Finney at the beginning of the film, it’s the series newcomers that really makes things shine. Tommy Lee Jones is the perfect grump up to no good and Alicia Vikander’s character cool engages in a psychological chess match with Bourne. Supporting performances from Vincent Cassel and Riz Ahmed, also adds welcome flavor to the material.
Fans who feared the Bourne series was over after the disappointment of Legacy, should be very pleased with Jason Bourne. With Matt Damon back in the role he created and Paul Greengrass at the helm to guide things, the Bourne series appears to be alive and very well.
Presented in the 2.39.1 aspect ratio, this 4K transfer looks terrific. The image is clean and crisp, with tight, refined texturing and deep blacks. The palette skews to the brown side due to the amount of nighttime activity, but daytime scenes are bright and colorful with appropriate hues. Skin tones appear natural. Contrast has been well maintained, assuring a consistent look.
The DTS-HD Master Audio 7.1 soundtrack really makes the action scenes come to life. While dialogue has been programmed in the center channel, clever use of directionality allows everything to flow evenly regardless of other sounds. The pulsating score by John Powell and David Buckley keeps things moving throughout, while atmospheric effects are well spread throughout the soundstage.
English SDH, Spanish and French subtitles are included.
The following extras are available:
- Bringing Back Bourne (HD, 8:15) Director Paul Greengrass, producers Frank Marshall and Gregory Goodman, writer Christopher Rouse, director of photography Barry Ackroyd, and actors Matt Damon, Tommy Lee Jones, Julia Stiles, and Alicia Vikander discuss the reasoning behind bringing back Jason Bourne and the difficulties in doing so.
- Bourne to Fight (HD, 8:13) A three part look at the memorable fight scenes in the film including the bare-knuckle boxing, the apartment fight between Bourne and whistleblower Christian Dassult (Vinzenz Kiefer) and the climactic brawl between Bourne and his would-be assassin. The piece includes comments from Paul Greengrass, Matt Damon, fight coordinator Roger Yuan, stunt coordinator Gary Powell and others.
- The Athens Escape (HD, 5:37) A look at the amount of stunt work necessary to pull off the motorcycle escape sequence. Includes comments from Matt Damon, second unit director Simon Crane and stunt coordinator Gary Powell.
- Las Vegas Showdown (HD, 14:56) A two-part look at the use of the Arial Hotel for the first part of the chaotic Las Vegas sequence. Second, a look at the high-speed chase down the strip. Director Paul Greengrass, second unit director Simon Crane, producers Frank Marshall and Gregory Goodman, writer/editor Christopher Rouse, and stars Matt Damon, Alicia Vikander, Vincent Cassel, Riz Ahmed, and Ato Essandoh all comment on the incredible work that went into the sequence.
- DVD/Digital Copy/Ultraviolet: Disc and code sheet enclosed in the case.