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Jason Bourne - the Greek scenes cannot be for real as any Hellenophile knows

Tom Winnifrith
Monday 5 September 2016

The fifth film in this series, with the simple title Jason Bourne, has won mixed reviews but the Mrs and I really enjoyed an afternoon showing yesterday. For us, naturally, the early part of the movie shot in Greece was a hoot.

For those who do not know Bourne, he is a CIA agent from a top secret programme - Treadstone - who went off the rails and pops up every few years to find more corrupt bastards inside the CIA who want to kill him but who he kills first. Ching ching, more money for Matt Damon and come back in a few years for another installment.

Anyhow, Jason (Mr Damon) is in Greece and the film is set at the time of all the anti austerity riots in 2015. Boy those were the days with great riot porn at Syntagma Square almost 24/7. So I was enjoying that bit and recognising familiar streets and places I know well when suddenly the CIA realise that Bourne is there and start tracking him by hacking into cameras operated by the Greek rozzers across Athens. What? You have to be kidding me right?

I am sure the CIA has the technology to hack into a working surveillance network anywhere in the world. But in Greece? The idea that the Greek Rozzers would have a system that actually works is crazy. They might have bought the kit in the good times with EU cash but no-one has had the cash to replace batteries, supply power, mend broken parts for years.

Back in the 70s were were in a remote Greek village called Anelion in the Pindus mountains, with my dad trying hard to make a phone call to sort out some travel matter. My poor father just could not get through. "Dad, dad are you sure you know how the phone works" asked three annoying children. "I know full doesn't" said an increasingly exasperated father. That was Greece then and now. Mr Damon should have done his homework better.

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About Tom Winnifrith
Tom Winnifrith is the editor of When he is not harvesting olives in Greece, he is (planning to) raise goats in Wales.
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