There is an immediate sense of synergy with the latest (and probably last) movie in the Bourne franchise – Jason Bourne has forgotten his memory and director Paul Greengrass has forgotten how to hold the camera still.
The frenetic action displayed by Matt Damon as he dodges the baddies across a series of exotic locations is nothing compared to the energy the viewer expends in trying to follow the jerky, handheld camera shots that pervade every single scene. OK, I can accept that the documentary style shooting adds a sense of panic and excitement to the action/chase scenes, but do we really need to have the camera bobbing around frantically when two people are having a quiet discussion over coffee?
Technical griping aside, the movie is a solid addition to the Bourne series. The plot is coherent and fits snugly with the prequels in style and character development. Damon is a believable and likeable hero; not only in the action scenes, but the more emotional flashback moments as well. Julia Stiles returns as Nicky Parsons, and plays the role with just the right combination of toughness and sensitivity. There is a nice understated tension between the two; a suggestion of a more intense relationship in Bourne’s previous, unremembered life.
Pamela Landy (Joan Allen) and Noah Vosen (David Strathairn) are ostensibly working together at CIA headquarters to bring Bourne in, though with very different agendas. The internal politicking and bickering between the two provide some of the more dramatic (and humourous) moments of the movie.
The action scenes are spectacular – I particularly enjoyed the sequence at London’s Waterloo train station and the chase through Morocco – however like most films of the genre, the viewer’s credibility is stretched way past breaking point early in the piece.
I’m an unashamed fan of the Bourne films and the Robert Ludlum books on which they are based, and would have rated this much more highly if not for the cameraman with the DTs.
My verdict: ♦ ♦ ♦