Fans of the Bourne films rejoice as their beloved Anti-hero returns for another chaotic chapter in the secret lives of global assassins!
It’s hard to believe it’s been fifteen years since the first Jason Bourne movie. I remember the moment when Jason (Matt Damon) recalls a certain set of skills after a couple of policemen harass him in a park one night. In a crazy-fast set of moves, he leaves both officers rolling on the ground. Confused and scared, Jason Bourne begins a quest of rediscovery. It’s one many viewers will never forget. Turns out he’s a secret assassin; trained to kill no matter what the cost. Worst yet, it’s discovered he was trained in a black program right here in the good ol’United States of America. It’s one of many programs involving the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA). Throughout the film, his superiors attempt to take him out, thinking he’s gone rouge. He just wants to know who he really is! This leads him down a path of death, destruction, and chaos. He speaks multiple languages, knows everything about his surroundings, has knowledge of countless martial arts, weaponry, and sabotage; yet he can’t remember his real name. His journey takes him all over the world, and even finds himself a gal along the way. Throughout the various films, Bourne has tried to stay one step ahead of his enemy’s. He’s a liability and willing to bring the terror to the doorstep of the CIA if need be. After going through so much, he just wants to be left alone. It’s been a long fifteen years to say the least.
In the fifth Bourne film, Jason is seen making a harsh living in street fights. He quiet, strong, and able to take quite the beating. This is obviously some type of foreshadowing. Jason has a tormented mind, and uses these fights as a way to deal with his inner demons. Sometimes they beat him, and other times he beats them down. It all depends how he’s feeling I guess. Living off the grid to stay alive is his only purpose now. He’s a survivor, and he’s doing his best to survive. It’s not until a familiar face (Nicky – Julia Stiles) shows up that Jason starts to get pulled back into the dark and deadly world of CIA black projects. He thought he was done with all that, but Nicky has found new information about Jason Bourne/David Webb. His father was a big part of the CIA and Treadstone. Turns out they were watching David long before he was approached for recruitment. And being watched is enough to trigger this deadly CIA Asset.
Much has changed in the last fifteen years. The agency where Bourne was trained has become much more sophisticated. Their tracking abilities and cyber skills are top notch too. If you thought they could pick his face out of a crowd before, wait till you see what they’re capable of doing now. They can manipulate traffic patterns, shut down power grids, and have an Asset ready to take a target down anywhere around the world. It’s crazy. They’re smart, tenacious, and fearless. And they really, really want to get rid of the terror known as Jason Bourne. We don’t know how many Assets are left, but one is called to hunt Bourne throughout the entire film. Vincent Cassel plays this deadly assassin, and he has a personal vendetta for Jason. Both are highly trained and very capable of killing. It’s only a matter of time until these two square off. Only one will come out alive.
Think Jason Bourne will finally get some closure on his tortured existence, and recall how he became this deadly asset he is today? Or will his life off the grid get snuffed out by another assassin who believes wholeheartedly that Jason’s a traitor? You’ll have to tune in to find out!
Enough about that…let’s take a look at what’s included with this 4K Blu-ray release.
The menu design consists of a few quick scenes from the film. The menu options are listed along the top-left of the screen, and include: Play, Chapters, Audio and Subtitles. The ‘Chapters’ option displays four chapters at a time. Each one is numbered and includes a snapshot from the scene. The ‘Audio’ option includes: English DTS:X, English Headphone DTS:X, French 5.1 DTS Digital Surround, and Spanish 7.1 DTS:HD. The ‘Subtitles’ option consists of the same languages as the audio tracks.
Now let’s take a look at the bonus features included with this release. It’s worth mentioning the extras are all on the standard 1080p Blu-ray disc included with this set.
– Bringing Back Bourne (8:15 HD): This is a great feature that’ll give viewers more respect for the film. Matt Damon and Director Paul Greengrass both express how they wouldn’t do another Bourne film unless the other was involved. They have great amount of trust for one another’s opinion and expertise, which is easily seen in how they talk about one another. This feature dives into how they decided to give the Bourne series another chapter.
– Bourne to Fight (18:13 HD): Fans of the film will really like this one. Matt Damon trains for three types of fighting in this film, and this feature takes a look behind-the-scenes of each. In the film, the scenes are fast, shaky, and up-close. This feature gives viewers an outside perspective. A lot of attention was given to the final battle. It’s pretty awesome.
– The Athens Escape (5:37 HD): This clip is all about motorcycle chase scene that takes place in Athens. It’s a crazy scene, and this feature shows viewers how the magic was made. Little spoiler…Matt Damon didn’t do all the stunts for this one! Even when it looked like he did in the final product. That’s the magic of moviemaking, folks!
– Las Vegas Showdown (14:56 HD): Shutting down the Las Vegas strip was no easy feat. This feature takes a closer look at how the cast and crew pulled it off. We also get to see a bunch of behind-the-scenes footage of the raw action as it unfolded. They actually did a lot of scenes in the Aria Resort and Casino. It was a big deal and the folks there were very accommodating. They had a real convention in the film with actual vendors. They also drove the SWAT vehicle into an actual casino, smashing everything inside. I give the cast and crew an A+ for the practicality. It made for a much more realistic visual experience.
Now let’s take a look at the technical side of this release.
The 2160p Ultra HD image with High Dynamic Range (HDR) comes with an aspect ratio of 2.39:1, so there are black bars along the top and bottom of your 4K display. No need to worry though, as this film is quite dark. Those pesky black bars will pretty much disappear while you become engrossed in the story. That said, the dark and muted color palette leaves much desired for a 4K transfer and HDR. If there aren’t colors to punch up, HDR seems a bit pointless. Several of the night shots contain a great amount of muddiness and grain too. This is to be expected with the use of 16mm and 35mm film, and it gives it a more traditional look. I guess it would look too clean if the entire film was shot digitally. The story is gritty, so having some grain and muddiness may have been the desired visual style. There are a ton of close-up actions sequences in this film, so a bunch of different cameras were used to capture the action. This included several types of digital cameras, and even GoPros. A film with this much action needed all the cameras they could get. This not a terrible-looking film by any means, but it won’t blow viewers away.
The DTS:X audio track does a great job pulling the viewer into the action. As mentioned previously, there’s a lot of chaos in a Bourne film, and this one is no different. The illusion is intensified by the barrage of effects and action-packed soundtrack. The chase scene in Greece is a great example of this. The ambient sounds of the demonstrators is chaotic and in all surrounding channels. Glass is constantly breaking, minor explosions are going off, and the screeching tires of the vehicles can be heard throughout the entire scene. It’s pretty crazy. The Bourne music adds a lot to the experience as well. It’s a really great sounding transfer.
Overall, Jason Bourne is a pretty good film. It brings the Bourne legacy up to modern times by including cyber warfare and beefed up surveillance technology. Bourne’s desire to stay off the grid has kept him alive these past fifteen years, but those who want to find him leave plenty of breadcrumbs for the CIA to track down. Just when Bourne believes he is free of the agency, they find a way to pull him back into the fray. Viewers will wonder if he’ll be able to get out of this one, as it appears they have Bourne right where they want him. Maybe he’ll be tired of running and come home to the agency. Think they’d take him back?
If you are a fan of the Bourne films, this one is worth checking out. It includes all of the aspects to make a great Bourne movie. It’s impressive to see all these years after the first film. Check it out on 4K Blu-ray today!