Nine years after The Bourne Ultimatum released to critical acclaim and box office success, Matt Damon and Paul Greengrass reunited for another installment in the popular action franchise: Jason Bourne. Though the response to the overall film was far more lukewarm when compared to its predecessors (read our review), many were in agreement that the action sequences were some of the best in the series. In particular, the opening chase through Greece and the Las Vegas car chase set piece received high marks, but Jason Bourne also featured some intense hand-to-hand combat.
Towards the very end of the movie, Bourne does battle with The Asset, played by Vincent Cassel. The two Treadstone projects are evenly matched, which gave the fight some weight and stakes. The Asset was even better than Bourne in some ways, such as his handling with a knife. With Jason Bourne making its way to home media, this sequence is the subject of a new featurette. You can watch it above.
The short video offers a behind-the-scenes look at how the scene was constructed, specifically highlighting the use of prop weapons to keep the actors safe. A problem the filmmakers ran into is that the rubber blades would bend upon impact, so they had to construct ones that were cut down so they could shoot stabs and slices. The visual effects department would have to add a full blade in post to make the confrontation look convincing. Even though the Bourne films are noted for their practicality, they still need to rely on some digital trickery to get the job done.
Fans will also notice that Damon and Cassel are the ones filming the fight, adding another layer of realism to the production. While stunt doubles are a key part of the film industry and deserve to be commended as often as possible, it’s still nice to see that stars of the film doing as much physical work as they can. Throughout his tenure with the Bourne franchise, Damon has always done his own stunts, so it isn’t surprising that was the case with this latest go-around. The actor’s commitment to the role gives Greengrass a fair amount of leeway when it comes to shot selection and camera angles; he doesn’t have to film obvious doubles from behind and can showcase Damon’s talents.
Jason Bourne was able to overcome its mixed word-of-mouth by grossing an impressive $415.2 million off a $120 million budget. This has left the door open for the possibility of another sequel, something producer Frank Marshall recently discussed. According to him, the key is cracking a compelling story, which this latest installment arguably did not have. If Damon is to reprise the super spy once more, the creative team is going to have to mix up the formula, as the redundant feel of Jason Bourne left some feeling cold. It will be interesting to see what happens, but Damon and Greengrass have left their mark on the genre regardless.
Jason Bourne is now available on digital. The Blu-ray hits stores December 6, 2016.