Jeremy Renner Credit: Mary Cybulski/Universal Pictures

Us Weekly rating: *** out of ****

Forget those guys in capes, masks and suits: Jeremy Renner may well be the real superhero of the summer.

As agent Aaron Cross, the actor shows off brain and brawn in the new chapter of the espionage franchise -- which, by the way, happens to be a riveting heart-stopper.

The plot is laid out like puzzle pieces scattered around the globe. The CIA's dirty secrets have been exposed, leading top director (Edward Norton) to order all evidence extinguished, including the spies themselves. Cross narrowly avoids assassination, then tracks down the doctor (Rachel Weisz) responsible for developing the medicine used to turn him into a killing machine. A PhD in genetics would have made the medical jargon go down a lot easier -- but it rarely detracts from the action.

The film never catches its breath as it seamlessly weaves a wolf tack in the Alaskan wilderness, a shootout in a Maryland lab and an epic motorcycle chase in the streets of the Philippines. Ten years after the first Bourne, there's still plenty of fight left in this saga.