Saturday, August 4, 2007

A Review of The Bourne Ultimatum

So I bought my tickets in advance to see the only movie that I will leave my house for this summer.

I am not a recluse, but I generally refuse to pay upwards of 30 dollars for my husband and I to see a movie when we can wait a bit and watch it in the comfort of our home. I can't stand to be trapped in a building full of people with no regard that they are not in their home. When I go to the movies, I invariably sit by all of these people; the woman with a bag of bags--crinkle crinkle, the man with the cell phone that must be answered and conversed on during the movie from his seat, the confused plot questioner and the person who explains it, the family with a three-year-old who can't (and shouldn't be expected to) sit through two hours without animation.

That being said, I knew I had to go see The Bourne Ultimatum on its opening night. I was giddy all day with excitement.

There are several reasons that The Bourne Ultimatum was high on my list. First of all, the previous Bourne films were phenomenal. The writing was intelligent and fast paced, the locales were authentic, the cinematography was gritty and intense, and Matt Damon embodied the reluctant hero role. He didn't quite fit at first, which is exactly how Jason Bourne feels through all of the films.

Jason Bourne does not want to be a killer, but he finds that he is. He wants to be a decent human being, and he knows that at one time he was. His "spy" persona is not one who revels in the death and destruction that he is sent to do by the government, a la Bond. The only use he has for his "spy" skills is to find those who have wronged him and ask them to make it right. Bourne does not even ask for death from all who stand in his path, unlike John McClane, but he will kill in life or death circumstances. Jason Bourne is not a misogynist, like so many action heroes. He had a girlfriend for parts of the series, but she was never used as "sexy bait" nor was she fodder for mindless sex scenes. She was a part of his life, and a partner in his healing. There are no glorified scenes of Bourne beating a "sexy" lady-spy, which is refreshing. And all of the women in the Bourne series are whole characters, not merely eye candy.

In this (most likely) final installment of the Bourne films, Jason Bourne is coming home. We are taken through several countries, beginning in Moscow and ending in New York, as Jason finally unravels all of the secrets of his past. I will not include any spoilers except this one...

this movie is incredible.

Although we go through at least six different countries, the director, Paul Greengrass, gives enough time for us to be familiar with all of them. Bourne exists in these places, but he exists no where. Matt Damon teases the emotions out, and does not go over the top with the one-liners (ahem, Bond, McClane), he is a character, not a charicature. Bourne is a real person, even if he has been created by the government, and it is Matt Damon's job to display the person Bourne was before the CIA changed him into a killing machine. He is remarkable.

Greengrass uses a camera technique that we are all familiar with, but I can't seem to name. To make us feel as if we are on the run with Bourne, there are almost no steady camera shots. This adds a sense of urgency to almost all of the scenes, but it also made me a little dizzy. If you have motion sickness, I suggest you sit at tht back of the theatre.

All in all it was an amazing experience. I am not going to divulge any plot points, or give any details about chase scenes (freaking awesome). I wish I had gone in with a cleaner slate, so I do not want to muddy yours up. Make sure your caught up on the first two Bourne movies, and then go to see this one immediately. (Beacause I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry can not have another top box office weekend.)

PS--Some say I might be biased, because I love a man who looks a little like Matt Damon, but you decide for yourself.

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Farmington, NM, United States
Old enough to know better, young enough to change.