Friday, August 10, 2007

Re: Bourne...

I just realized I saw The Bourne Ultimatum a week ago and haven't even mentioned it on my blog. Unfortunately, I just don't have time these days for full reviews (which I'm sure actually frustrates me much more than you), but I couldn't let this one escape without mentioning.

The Bourne Ultimatum is a perfect movie.

Not as in "without flaw" perfect, but as in the biblical definition perfect, to fulfill it's intended purpose. It is the perfect Bourne film, and director Paul Greengrass (United 93) continues his gift for making movies that feel absolutely real in unreal situations. Jason Bourne (Matt Damon) in just 3 films surpasses Bond as my favorite super spy (Juni and Carmen Cortez combine for a distant third, and yes that was a Spy Kids reference, and yes I'm serious). Bourne bests Bond for many reasons only a few of which I will delineate here.

- Bourne is middle class not high society. Suits? Martinis? Fancy cars? You might as well throw a top hat and monocle on 007. Bourne is just a regular looking guy who hijacks junk cars for his chases, and would never once be mistaken for the monopoly guy.

- Bourne has some MacGyver DNA. Bourne's knack for improvising and perfect set ups outcool Bond's ridiculous pre made gadgets that he inevitable has to use at the crucial point any day.

- Bourne the chaste. Well, not quite. But still, Jason Bourne's only real love interest was killed in movie 2 and she still drives the plot. Bourne is truly a monogamous spy.

The latest Bond actually attempts to address all three of these issues, to decent effect, but you know you are in trouble when you are imitating the new guy.

Beyond Bourne's impressive character, this movie sticks because it puts the audience exactly where we need to be at every turn. The last director to own an audience like this was M. Knight, and Greengrass's skill was evident at every gasp, laugh, and cheer that took place in that crowded theater last Friday.

A definite recommendation from me and another notch on the barrel of what has turned out to be an amazing summer for movies.

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