All it took was a well-made Super Bowl spot, and Jason Bourne kicked The Bourne Legacy down to permanent footnote. The real Bourne has returned, his name means something, and fans are eager to see Matt Damon get back into badass mode. Of course, we’re also wondering what that means post-Ultimatum. Shouldn’t that have been a happy ending for the character?
Far from it. In a recent interview with EW, Damon talked about how Jason Bourne will build on the first three movies:
He’s living with the same things as he was before, and then he goes to find Julia Stiles’ character, who basically says, “Just because you remember everything, doesn’t mean you know everything.” So you find him in a place that’s dark and unresolved.
This is the completion of this journey that started in the Bourne Identity. It’s part of the first three [movies], it’s not a whole new chapter. It feels like the conclusion, even though we’re not saying it’s the conclusion, it feels like the conclusion of my identity journey. It goes deeper than Ultimatum, basically.
Which makes a lot of sense. Jason Bourne found out who he was, and perhaps ignorance would have been bliss. Instead, he’s a trained killer and now he has to live with that, and he has to live with that in our current set of circumstances. It looks like the Obama administration hasn’t been any kinder to Bourne than the George W. Bush years. For example, the movie didn’t shoot in Greece just because it’s a lovely place. The recent austerity riots are meant to play into the film’s themes:
The last one was set in London, Madrid, and New York. And subconsciously, those places were places where there were terrorist attacks. This movie opens with an austerity riot in Athens, and that’s very much by design. It feels current with what’s going in our world. You’re always creating an alternate reality with Bourne, but you want to feel like it’s our world.
Damon also touched on how Alicia Vikander and Tommy Lee Jones’ characters will factor into the plot:
You have to do something great and new, and Alicia is our great and new. She plays a new character we’re introducing, and she’s a specialist in cyber. Instead of just the three arenas of warfare — air, land and sea — there’s now this fourth element: cyber. The implications of that are huge, and she’s representing that in the movie. We also have Tommy Lee Jones in the movie, and he’s kind of representing the analog CIA in the way the old guard thinks. Those two go head to head quite a bit. Introducing those two new characters, I think, is probably one of the biggest trailblazing things we’ve done in this movie.
Between trying to handle economic crisis, cyber warfare, and Bourne wrestling with the consequences of his identity, Jason Bourne is certainly attempting to take on a lot, but with Paul Greengrass directing and Damon starring, they’ve more than earned the benefit of the doubt. It certainly has to be better than Jeremy Renner whining about his “chems.”
Jason Bourne opens July 29th, and also stars Vincent Cassel and Riz Ahmed.