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Review: Jason Bourne

Jason Bourne is the fifth film in the Bourne franchise, and the second film in the franchise not to be based on a book of the same name. The second Bourne film, The Bourne Supremacy, is my favourite.

The first three films, all starring Matt Damon, seem to follow the same plot. Bourne is chased by the CIA while trying to discover new information about his past. This film is no exception.

Jason Bourne (2016)
Alicia Vikander and Tommy Lee Jones as CIA operatives who are unlucky enough to cross Jason Bourne

The Bourne films are directed using many handheld shots making the audience feel as if they are alongside Jason Bourne and making it feel more realistic. This effect is used again in the new film, under the direction of Paul Greengrass, who directed The Bourne Supremacy and The Bourne Ultimatum.

Camera movement is at its best in the most recent film, whilst in the others the camera shakes as if the cinematographer is on a boat.

The action in this film is also the best of any Bourne films. Even from the first action sequence in Athens, during which Bourne escapes from the CIA during anti-austerity riots, I was thrilled. Throughout the film the action stays consistently tense and fun to watch.

Interestingly, Bourne does not have much dialogue in this film, making the supporting cast the most important of any Bourne film. Tommy Lee Jones plays the director of the CIA – exactly as other actors played the role in the previous films.

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Riz Ahmed plays Aaron Kalloor, a young entrepreneur who became rich through founding a social media website. This introduces the theme of surveillance, as the CIA want a backdoor into the website to make sure nobody tries anything illegal. This theme has been subject to much debate in the years since The Bourne Ultimatum, and its exploration here is a reason that the film is a worthy continuation.

In all the Bourne films some of the dialogue can be unintentionally hilarious –  a staple of the Bourne franchise; in this film the CIA operative Craig Jeffers and hacker Christian Dassault, played by Ato Essandoh and Vinzenz Kiefer respectively, provide excellent examples.

Although its plot is very similar to the first three Bourne films, Jason Bourne does well and overall this is probably my new favourite in the Bourne franchise.

★★★★☆