One of the things that distinguishes the Jason Bourne films from the much lighter tone of the James Bond movies is the way the Bourne films seem grounded in the politics of the real world, something the Bond films studiously avoid.
After all, it's more fun to watch a movie about a super-spy fighting a bald evil genius with a volcano lair and an army of henchmen than it is to watch an indictment of the modern surveillance state. But “fun” isn't necessarily what Paul Greengrass has been chasing in the “Bourne” films he's made, and with the newest addition to the series starting to pick up steam, I couldn't be happier. With Greengrass onboard to direct again, I think it's safe to say the film is good hands. Greengrass is co-writing it with Christopher Rouse, and little by little, they are putting together one hell of a cast.
Vincent Cassel is set to star as the main bad guy in the film, according to Variety, and he joins a dense roster of really interesting actors including Alicia Vikander, Tommy Lee Jones, the returning Julia Stiles, and, of course, Matt Damon as Jason Bourne. I think Vikander's on fire these days, and more than up to any challenge that's been thrown her way so far.
The Variety piece says Cassel may be playing “an assassin tracking Bourne,” which seems very slim as a description, but I'm sure there will be more to it. When Matt Damon recently talked to BuzzFeed about the new movie, he mentioned that it will start in Greece and end in Las Vegas. One is a country that's gone fiscally bankrupt, and you can argue the other is proof of a country that's gone spiritually bankrupt.
“Without giving too much of it away, it's Bourne through an austerity-riddled Europe and in a post-Snowden world, it seems like enough has changed, you know? There are all these kinds of arguments about spying and civil liberties and the nature of democracy.”
If Greengrass can deliver the same mix of real-world politics and action movie impact, then “Bourne” should be back on track.
We'll find out in July 2016.