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December 18, 2007


After United 93 and his two Jason Bourne films, I can safely say that Paul Greengrass is one of the phoniest stylists in the biz. Watching Bourne Ultimatum, which I think is lousy, I was struck by how easily you could predict when the camera was going to make some overly-calculated jump. I picture Greengrass behind the camera smacking his cinematographer upside the head with a stick. I can't believe how easily people confuse his artistic laziness for a legitimate sense of urgency.

Ha! Agreed. I think there's some (minor) relationship between the aesthetic he employs in the Bourne films and the stories' themes. Mostly, though, the whole grim-gritty atmosphere is just as shallow and artificial as are the superheroic shenanigans of a Spider-Man 3.

Even Cathy, a fan of the first two films, found this one so dull that she chose to go to sleep on the couch rather than put up with the second hour.

Do you still think highly of The Bourne Supremacy, Nick? I really dug the hell out of that movie, so I was flabbergasted at how disappointing this was, especially after the absurd overpraise by most of the (un)critical establishment.

Dennis: To be honest, I'm not sure. I haven't seen Supremacy since it came out, but I suspect that my dislike for Ultimatum has soured me on the entire franchise...

I totally agree, this was a huge let down. There was that giant time warp thing going on that was confusing to me. I mean at the end of the Supremacy he calls Pam, and then you see him disappear, supposedly, in the streets of New York. Why did they try to tie that into this one? It became very convoluted at that point, esp because they re-shot that scene to incorporate it. Matt Damon, I thought, really phoned in his performance. He did a great job in the first two, but in this one it seemed like he was doing this movie under protest. Alot of forced emotion, coupled with almost completely monotone dialogue. Total let down for me. At least we still have Bond.

Which movie am I describing?

Jason Bourne is the victim of a "Wanted Dead or Alive" campaign run by a super secret CIA operation.

While escaping from his pursuers, he meets a pretty girl who helps him with his miraculous escapes.

He leads European police on a wild chase down narrow streets.

Another killer for hire is sent to kill him. He is dispatched by Bourne after an incredible fight that would land any normal human into the ICU.

Bourne spies out the headquarters of the unit sent to kill him and calls them on the phone.

He breaks into their headquarters to find information about himself and his pursuers.

All this leads to a thrilling climax where Bourne eliminates his arch enemy and manages to escape.

Which movie? Any Bourne movie you like. They are all the same. Why so many five star ratings?

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