IGNORING the Jeremy Renner-starring side-step The Bourne Legacy (2012), we find out amnesiac assassin Jason Bourne (Matt Damon) has been living off the grid for nine years in Jason Bourne.
He has been moving around so he is not tracked down by his former employer the CIA and making money by knocking guys out with one hit in street fights.
Former CIA analyst Nicky Parsons makes contact, with more information about his past and evidence of another, similar program to the one that created him.
Meanwhile, CIA Director Robert Dewey (Tommy Lee Jones) and his protege Heather Lee (Alicia Vikander) clash on how to handle Bourne’s resurfacing – he wants Bourne dead, she thinks he can be re-recruited.
The repetitive nature of this franchise is hard to deny – Bourne is once again dragged out of hiding, forced to face his past, uncover corruption, power-walk through crowds, and then there are the vehicle chases and whip-fast hand-to-hand combat scenes that you can set a watch to.
But darn it, co-writer and director Paul Greengrass (who inherited the series from Doug Liman, who directed the first) knows how to elevate the pulse and dazzle, which is a difficult task without levelling entire cities in our time of saturated superhero films.
The final signature chase, this time down the main strip in Las Vegas, has a hint of Michael Bay about it with the amount of vehicular destruction.
A satisfying return to the franchise, without exceeding its predecessors, Jason Bourne has the requisite amount of action, tension, realism and story expansion for a thrilling good time.
Jason Bourne (M)
Directed by: Paul Greengrass
Starring: Matt Damon, Tommy Lee Jones, Alicia Vikander
Three and a half stars
Review by: Julian Wright
In cinemas now