As one of the film franchises to breathe new life to the spy genre in the 21st century, the Bourne series is noted for standout set pieces. Throughout the previous movies, there have been numerous action sequences that thrilled and entertained, such as the Waterloo chase in The Bourne Ultimatum and the various close quarters combat fights Jason Bourne had with the many assets the CIA sent after him.
Bourne is also known for delivering some stunning car chases, arguably some of the best in recent years. During the original trilogy, there seemed to be an effort to top each one, as Ultimatum featured a high speed pursuit through the streets of New York. This summer's Jason Bourne, which once again sees Matt Damon and Paul Greengrass team up, has already been billed as the biggest Bourne yet, and the filmmakers pulled out all the stops to make a car chase in Las Vegas as epic as it could possibly be.
A new featurette (watch it above) gives fans a behind-the-scenes look at how the scene was crafted. The crew actually received permission to close off a sizable section of Las Vegas Boulevard so they could film in the famed Las Vegas strip. Greengrass states in the video he feels the Jason Bourne car chase is the best they've done so far, and in terms of scale, he could definitely be right. Damon reveals that the two vehicles involved are an armored SWAT truck (driven by Vincent Cassel's villain) and a cop car with Bourne at the wheel. "There's a lot of force and energy that will be on display," the actor promises.
The big takeaway here is that much (if not all) of the chase was done practically. Bourne films of past have been praised for being grounded in realism, helping the proceedings feel more impactful. It's stunning to watch the money shot of the sequence (the SWAT vehicle mowing through cars) be shot without the aid of digital effects. Digital technology certainly has a place in Hollywood, but a handful of recent projects have made strides to go back to the old techniques. Many cinephiles appreciate this renaissance, and it's nice to see that Jason Bourne will be sticking to the aesthetics of its successful predecessors.
Greengrass notes in the featurette that the car chase is meant to serve as the culmination of this latest installment, so it's no surprise that the team went all out to make it grandiose. Though Damon envisions a future where the part of Jason Bourne is recast eventually, he's also talked about Jason Bourne serving as a conclusion to the character's story. Depending on how things turn out, this could be the last time the actor portrays his famous role - at least for a while. If this is meant to be an end of sorts, it's best to go out with a bang.
This summer has made headlines for several sequels failing the live up to the hype and underperforming at the box office. With few exceptions (Captain America: Civil War, Finding Dory), studios haven't had many reasons to celebrate in 2016. It appears that trend could be reversing soon; Star Trek Beyond is earning positive marks and Jason Bourne looks like it will be another great chapter in one of this millennium's defining movie series. Time will tell, of course, but filmgoers have plenty of reasons to be excited.
Jason Bourne hits U.S. theaters July 29, 2016.
Source: Universal Pictures