August 3, 2007

Car Crashes, Hand to Hand Combat and Surprisingly Political

The Damon man talks with director Paul Greengrass on set.

The third installment of the Bourne series, The Bourne Ultimatum, was one of Cinecultist's most eagerly anticipated summer release and as you can tell from our rave on Gothamist yesterday, it didn't disappoint. Our girl Manohla loved it too, and in her review she touched upon what we found so exciting about the movie, that it is popular entertainment with smarts and a point of view.

She writes,

"As Bourne has inched closer to solving the rebus of his identity, he hasn’t always liked what he’s found. He isn’t alone. Movies mostly like to play spy games pretty much for kicks, stoking us with easy brutality and cool gadgets that get us high and get us going, whether our gentlemen callers dress in tuxes or track suits.

What’s different about the Bourne movies is the degree to which they have been able to replace the pleasures of cinematic violence with those of movie-made kinetics — action, not just blood. Mr. Greengrass and his superb team do all their dazzling with technique. They take us inside an enormous train station and a cramped room and then, with whipping cameras and shuddering edits, break that space into bits as another bullet finds its mark, another body hits the ground, and the world falls apart just a little bit more. Without fail, Mr. Greengrass always picks up those pieces, reshaping them so that Bourne can move to the next location, the next kill, as he gets closer and closer to the mystery of his terrible existence."

As the movie thunders towards its climactic showdown, Cinecultist realized that this is one of the most politically minded current Hollywood movies we've seen. Almost as a counterpoint to director Paul Greengrass's brutal September 11 movie from last year United 93, The Bourne Ultimatum looks into the face of our government's policy decisions and demands to know what we've become. It's not enough to say we were just following protocol or making the best decisions we could with the information we had. Like Jason Bourne, our country has to face ourselves in the mirror every morning knowing what we've done. And this coming from a filmmaker who's a Brit.

Posted by karen at August 3, 2007 12:04 PM
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