— #JasonBourne (@jasonbourne) June 16, 2016
So far this year, the summer box office has seen a number of sequels disappoint and perform well below their predecessors. Films like Alice Through the Looking Glass, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows, and X-Men: Apocalypse have all struggled to leave much of an impact, raising the question if Hollywood is suffering a bad case of sequelitis. The fortunes for followups could change this July, when Universal releases the highly anticipated action film Jason Bourne. Reuniting franchise star Matt Damon and director Paul Greengrass nearly a decade after The Bourne Ultimatum earned widespread acclaim, this new movie sets to provide a satisfying conclusion to Bourne's journey in a way the original trilogy never did.
The studio has slowly but surely put together a visible marketing campaign to increase awareness, unveiling a number of television spots that peel back layers of the film's somewhat secretive plot. That continues the the premiere of a new ad (watch it above), setting up the primary conflict between Bourne and the CIA, which is running a new assassin program called Iron Hand this time around.
Besides Bourne, the character who's featured most prominently in this commercial is Robert Dewey (Tommy Lee Jones), who is clearly being established as Jason Bourne's central antagonist. His role appears to be similar to that of Noah Vosen (David Strathairn) in Ultimatum; the CIA head honcho tasked with tracking Jason down and eliminating him. The series has had plenty of compelling foils for Bourne, but Dewey could prove to be the strongest one yet - especially since he appears to know more about the spy than anyone else ever has. With a talented actor like Jones in the part, Dewey should be very interesting to watch.
In addition to the TV spot, Universal also released a new international poster for Jason Bourne. The one-sheet showcases Bourne and Alicia Vikander's mystery character (another CIA employee) standing side-by-side as Bourne points a gun at an unseen foe. Check it out below:
Not much is known about Vikander's role at this point in time, so it's noteworthy that she's the one shown with Bourne on the poster. This could be a way of promoting the rising star (who's fresh off an Oscar win and is the new Tomb Raider), but it could offer a potential narrative clue. Bourne has received help from non-corrupt members of the CIA in the past (Pamela Landy, Nicky Parsons), so Vikander's character could be an ally who aids Bourne in his mission as she learns the truths about the organization. After the actress made a name for herself with a series of standout performances in 2015, fans are excited to see her take part in a Bourne film, so hopefully Vikander is one of the film's best aspects.
Time will tell if Jason Bourne can live up to the earlier movies in terms of quality, but the pieces are in place for another fast paced thrill ride. Greengrass at the helm all but guarantees the action sequences will be top notch, and the fourth go-around for Damon could give his iconic character his most emotional arc in the franchise as he learns more about his past. Whether a crossover with Bourne and Aaron Cross (Jeremy Renner in Bourne Legacy) is in the works or not, Jason Bourne should prove to be a worthwhile chapter in its own right and excite viewers.
Jason Bourne hits U.S. theaters July 29, 2016.
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