Monday, August 6, 2007

Review: The Bourne Ultimatum

If you haven't seen the first two Bourne movies, you might not get what's happening in the third one. Of course, even if you did, that's no guarantee you can follow the twists and turns in The Bourne Ultimatum.

Still, bet you have fun watching them all.

You do have to pay attention with these films, loosely based on the Robert Ludlum novels. Action-packed, with a complex story line built upon the flashbacks of semi-amnesiac assassin Jason Bourne, the films take viewers to London, Berlin, Moscow and India, just for starters, following vague conspiracy theories that get fleshed out (mostly) during the course of the Bourne trilogy.

Though some complain about Paul Greengrass's deliberately shaky camera work, which throws you right into the action ("Can't he afford a steadycam with all the money he's making off these movies?" is one question actor Matt Damon says he hears repeatedly), and others wonder if the continued sucess raises the possibility of yet another installment (Re-Bourne? Bourne Again?), The Bourne Ultimatum is riding high with number one at the box office this week.

Greengrass is already having to defend the latest Bourne movie against conspiracy theorists of his own. Some believe his sinister CIA axeman, played by David Straithairn, is modeled after Vice-President Dick Cheney. Greengrass counters with a categorical, “It’s not a political soapbox for me or anybody else."

Matt Damon, who joked recently on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart that, "in my quieter moments, I remind myself of Schwarzeneggar," is perfectly cast as Jason Bourne, an assassin who refuses to be controlled by the people who created him. Damon's low-key, quiet persona as Bourne throughout much of the movie provides the perfect counterpoint to the ruthless killing machine that emerges the moment Bourne is threatened.

That contrast underlies the movie's central theme: will Bourne find the answers he needs to get on with his life? And if he does, will the assassin in him take over? Or can he reclaim the person he was, the man he has forgotten, once he has found those answers?

We could tell you, but then, you know, we'd have to kill you.

1 comment:




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