Matt Damon is returning as Jason Bourne. That statement essentially sold the film to me but regardless it’s only in the past few months that I have started to get genuinely excited for the fifth entry in this franchise, ever since the title announcement and the initial super bowl trailer that finally made me see the project as an eventual actuality. But now we have the full trailer and at the very least it seems like this latest entry in the series could be just as spectacular as the others (I mean after ‘The Bourne Legacy’ it’s guaranteed to be at least the fourth best in the franchise, right?)
So the trailer opens with flashbacks of the previous films just to remind everyone that this is indeed a continuation of the franchise. The selection of clips they show include some of the franchise’s most powerful and impressive shots, particularly the window jump from ‘The Bourne Ultimatum’. Then we get some rather cryptic and overly elaborate statement “Remembering everything doesn’t mean you know everything” and ultimately that seems to be a good summary of how this film is subtly appealing to us.
Consider this, the tagline from every trailer has been ‘You know his name’, and we do, it’s David Webb. I feel like that is the whole conundrum behind the film, we know Bourne’s real name and his transformation into the character we know but beyond that, not much else. Therein lies the central conceit, we have only just scratched the surface of who Jason Bourne really is and that only seems to emphasise the meaning behind the film’s title. I said a while ago that by simply resorting to using our protagonists name as the title implies that this film will be even more of a personal character study than the others (either that or they ran out of words that can be preceded by Bourne and sound cool).
One of the most striking aspects of the trailer was during the brief glimpses we got of some kind of information hack, during which a government official said that the incident “could be worse than Snowden”. To bring up such an issue that remains so controversial and so relevant to our modern perception of espionage, we no longer think about fancy gadgets and suave secrecy, we think of unseen drones and skilled computer hackers, including Edward Snowden so to throw in such a reference means that this Bourne film will hopefully be as relevant as the others. Perhaps one of the most hard hitting images of the series was in The Bourne Ultimatum’ in which Bourne coldly executes a hooded prisoner, if 2007 audiences were reminded of images of their daily news casts instead of mindless entertainment it was for a reason.
If anything this trailer is just a more intelligent version of the super bowl TV spot. Where one was just glimpses of what look to be the film’s most impressive action set pieces like the chase down the Las Vegas strip (talk about fear and loathing). But this one not only contains the political references and hints of plot, it involves clues as to why Bourne has made his return now, and even if in reality the answer to that question is because the studio heads realised they could make more money from the series, there has to be a genuine reason behind it. Meanwhile there are glimpses of the new cast such as Tommy Lee Jones and Alicia Vikander who both look excellent, but it's Damon at the centre of attention as he easily walks back into the role that to this day defines his career.
But let’s get back to the action, because it looks absolutely spectacular. Paul Greengrass directs action to a level that few others can replicate today and he put such an indefinable stamp onto the franchise that it’s difficult for anyone other than him to replicate. Just from these few shots you can tell that this is a Greengrass movie and having gone on to make award winning dramas like ‘United 93’ and ‘Captain Philips’ we should expect a lot from this.
Then of course there’s the final shot, which we have of course seen before both in the previous trailer and other films. But there is something so brilliant about this execution of the scenario. Big tough guy gets knocked out by underdog in one punch, but what should be a cliché is injected with such a sense of pace and impact, a sudden brutal force that is elevated by the brilliant composition, framing, choreography and physical performances just makes the whole thing look fantastic. July can’t come soon enough.