Sunday, August 19, 2007

The Bourne Ultimatum

Of all the genres out there, action films are by far the least interesting to me. The problem I find with most action films made since Die Hard is the fact they have gotten progressively bigger, badder, flashier, loaded down with CGI and ultimately, dumber. There’s no real suspense in most of them—it’s just stuff blowing up “Bay” style. I find that dull, dull, dull.

The Bourne series is a completely different concept and they are bar none the best mainstream action films that have come out in the past few years. In a way, these films are higher-tech versions of action films from the 1960s and 1970s. They eschew any element of fat and exist in stories so lean and mean, there is only time for the chase, the hunt and the escape. It’s less explosion and more real stuntmen performing REAL stunts!

I’m not going into the plot of The Bourne Ultimatum as you likely know it—Jason Bourne is running from the government all over the globe as they try to kill him. He can’t remember who he is or what he was trained to do. All he knows is he’s a killing machine who has the innate ability to take out anyone coming after him. He’s on a mission to find out who did this to him and deliver some payback.

One trademark of the Bourne films (directed by Doug Liman and Paul Greengrass) is the amount of hand held camerawork in the films. While it can be a bit dizzying to watch, it also creates an intimacy in the chaos and mayhem, and acts as a gritty agent to pull you into the action a lot more than a static, immobile, traditional camera might.

You won’t see me recommending a lot of full-on action films on CineRobot but The Bourne Ultimatum is a really tense, well made movie that had me keyed up from the very start. Great supporting cast as well with David Strathairn, Joan Allen, Scott Glenn, Julia Stiles and Paddy Considine helping or hindering Bourne in his quest for truth. The Bourne Ultimatum is one action film I don’t mind ruling the box office roost, as it deserves it.

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