Thursday, 5 May 2016


There have been few singular cultural pleasures as notable as the trilogy of Bourne films starring Matt Damon, each featuring Moby's solemn yet oddly upbeat 'Extreme Ways' theme song ("I would stand in line for this"). Their gritty action, cinema realism, and downbeat subjects made Bond seem like a cartoon, and changed that franchise (as well as influencing the new Batman trilogy).

Greengrass, the director, turned out to be an action genius, easily the best of his generation. Then we had that fourth unwelcome verstigial spin-off, with another Bournelike character, and though it had its moments, we all missed Jason.

Jason is back again this summer, with his pumped-up guns and lost-boy glare. Also back is the chaos that ensues when he brings the conflict up close and personal to the shadowy espionage forces ranged against him. Aptly, he is now, in the trailer, called worse than Snowden - a sign his Bourne brawn is being supplemented by more than a special injection - he has smarts and intelligence (not always the same thing).

Truth be told, the Bourne films are simply the Day of the Jackal fused with Three Days of the Condor, in terms of genre style and cold-blooded relentlessness, but they are the best of commercial Hollywood this century, and the 5th will make the fist of greatness complete.
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