Monday, August 20, 2007

The Bourne Ultimatum

As it happened, I watched The Bourne Supremacy again on DVD last night. Its plot was pretty much as follows:
Jason Bourne is under attack. He knows too much. An asset is sent to kill him. (An asset is an assassin paid by the CIA.) Asset fails. Jason goes on the run again. Pamela Landy has an underlying sense that Jason isn’t just a loose cannon, but she is put down by her superiors. Her superiors turn out to be corrupt. In the end, Jason defeats the assassin, and brings down the corrupt superiors. There are lots of car chases.
Tonight we went to see The Bourne Ultimatum at the movies. The plot was pretty much as follows:
Jason Bourne is under attack. He knows too much. An asset is sent to kill him. Asset fails. Jason goes on the run again. Pamela Landy has an underlying sense that Jason isn’t just a loose cannon, but is put down by her superiors. Her superiors turn out to be corrupt. In the end, Jason defeats the assassin, and brings down the corrupt superiors. There are lots of car chases.
Notice any similarities?
The Bourne Ultimatum is loud, full of car chases and spectacular crashes, chases of people up and down buildings and in and out streets, and several unpleasant deaths.
Did I mention it was loud?
The photography is forever on the move, even in the quiet scenes, so that our eyes are worn out trying to adjust to what’s going on. The movement in the quiet scenes uses that recent development, particularly noticeable in tv shows, where the camera is apparently handheld, and keeps jittering. On a big screen this is just plain annoying. But the photography in the various chases is worse. The cutting is so fast that no shot lasts for more than a second or so. Consequently the audience can barely keep up with who’s who and what’s what and where we are. And many of the shots are blurred, as though it was easier to disguise what was actually happening that way. This becomes increasingly irritating as the movie goes on. The car chase towards the end, when the assassin gets back in on the act, is barely understandable. Jason Bourne’s vehicle is almost written off, yet keeps on going. He survives falling off a building in a car, being smashed into by everything in sight, and smashing other cars. At no time does he get whiplash, or any of the other normal consequences of his driving. His limp turns up again after he climbs out of an almost completely demolished car, but is gone again shortly after. The assassin is virtually wiped off the map, yet he turns up a few scenes later with not a scratch on him!
The Bourne Ultimatum, I hate to say, is basically absurd, derivative, and hard to watch. And did I mention loud?
Post a Comment