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What did Jason Bourne (2016) show us about Vegas?

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jason bourne

So, as it turns out, Las Vegas is a pretty big deal. A lot of great films seem to take place in and around Vegas – Ocean’s Eleven, Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, Bugsy, Leprechaun 3 and other iconic classics– and now we get to add the epic Jason Bourne to that list. In the latest instalment to the Bourne franchise we see an epic car chase and car wreck take place on the famous Las Vegas strip. However, the experience of Vegas that we get in the latest Bourne film isn’t quite the same as our past experiences of Vegas. It’s not just about the nightlife, the lights and the poker tables. Apparently, there’s a lot about Vegas that we didn’t know, but if you feel confident with your Casino knowledge then you could always have a go at Ladbrokes’s ‘Top 10 Casino Facts’ quiz and test what you think you know. Otherwise, here’s what Jason Bourne showed us about Vegas:

Vegas is one of the toughest locations to film a car chase

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‘You ain’t shutting down the strip!’

These are apparently the words that met Paul Greengrass when he suggested the idea to Damon. Crashing a car into a hotel is one thing. Crashing a car into a hotel on the Vegas strip however is a very different thing, apparently. Vegas is awake all hours of the day and the idea that someone could just shut it down seems impossible. A decision like that involves too many parties to keep track of and negotiations can go on for months. Of course, in the end, Greengrass managed to make it happen, but that doesn’t mean that it didn’t take a lot of work and planning. Even when they managed to get the strip shut down they needed enough crewmembers to guard every doorway and sidewalk to make sure no curious strangers wandered onto the set while the car crashes were taking place. Yes, car chases in Vegas are one heck of a chore, but at least there is some beautiful payoff.

Casinos aren’t just for gambling

Did you know that there’s more to a casino than casino floor? It’s hard to think about when almost every film set in a casino features mostly blackjack and slot machines, but apparently there are other rooms where things other than gambling go on. In Jason Bourne we see that Casinos have function rooms where a lot of meetings and panels are hosted, especially technology conferences. One of the main reasons why Greengrass chose Vegas as a location is because it is apparently a key location for the CIA and NSA to find new recruits. Elites and bright young minds all gather at conferences and conventions in Vegas and recruiters from all types of industries follow them.

The Riviera’s demolition was a damn shame

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Vegas isn’t Vegas if you don’t include some of the most iconic attractions, like Caesar’s Palace, the Bellagio and the Stratosphere tower. All things gaudy and brightly lit find a place to call home in Vegas and the Riviera was one of the brightest and gaudiest. For the Jason Bourne film the grand casino was stripped bare to provide an exciting landing place for a SWAT car. Not long after, the Riviera’s neon sign was turned off for the last time and the iconic building was demolished. When you watch the latest Bourne film and see those glass doors shattered open you can’t help but feel a slight pang of sorrow. The buildings of Las Vegas are all unique and special and seeing one as memorable as the Riviera disappearing from the strip feels like a little piece of Vegas has been lost forever. At least a part of it will be carried with us thanks to Jason Bourne.

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