Up until now I'd been an adherent of the theory that the even-numbered Bourne movies were the ones worth celebrating. The first, The Bourne Identity (2002) was certainly fun, but not to my thinking great,
But the second, The Bourne Supremacy (2004) was absolutely terrific and even managed to come up with an interesting and exciting variation on that most weary of cinematic clichés — the car chase (in this case, spreading mayhem through the streets of Moscow).
Number three, The Bourne Ultimatum (2007) saw a dip in interest, at least in my interest, although there was a memorably tense sequence in Waterloo Station. But then there was the fourth film, The Bourne Legacy (2012)...
This was in some senses not a Jason Bourne movie at all, making cheeky use of the name in the title, despite introducing an entirely new character, played by Jeremy Renner. Yet it was probably the best of the bunch.
Now, who is responsible for these? Well, the first movie was directed by Doug Liman, but the major creative personalities behind the series have been Paul Greengrass and, above all, Tony Gilroy.
Greengrass is a former BBC documentary film maker whose work has a powerfully realistic feel. He directed the second and third films, and now the fifth.
Tony Gilroy was a screenwriter on all of the first four films, and also directed the fourth. He is one of the great Hollywood writers and with the excellent Michael Clayton (an unusual sort of legal drama starring George Clooney) he also became a first-rate writer-director.
In addition, Gilroy wrote The Devil's Advocate, a favourite guilty pleasure of mine, and is currently involved in writing the new Star Wars spin-off Rogue One.
Yet Gilroy isn't involved in this summer's Bourne movie, Jason Bourne... and it's still a winner. And breaks the even-numbered-Bourne rule.
I'll tell you all about it next week.
(Image credits: all from the very useful Imp Awards — Identity, Supremacy, Ultimatum, Legacy.)