Wednesday, January 02, 2008

The Bourne Ultimatum

I'm well aware that the following comment will solidify my reputation for being un-hip and sometimes out of touch with popular culture. That's my reputation, especially with my pre-teen daughter's herd of friends, and I accept it. It's my cross to bear.

But, I don't like the Bourne movies. For the same reason I've never seen a Jet Li flick, or watched more than 10 minutes of a Bruce Lee movie. (Although I did dig The Green Hornet.)

The Bourne Ultimatum is, for me, like watching one of those kung-fu flicks from the 70s--the story is pushed along by movement and violence instead of an oral narrative.

Fast-paced scenes filled with martial arts can have a significant place in a movie, but for me, at least, it shouldn't be the crux of the movie.

But what do I know...I'm a geek.

I know there are serious fans of the Bourne trilogy. Write me why, in the comments section here or in an email. I'd like to put together a post sometime later on all the reasons the series is so popular.

Maybe I'll learn something.


El Cabrero said...

Not even Enter the Dragon?

The Film Geek said...

Not even.

I really hate those movies, even if they have a good reputation. I need some dialogue, I guess.

primalscreamx said...

Not so fast on Jet Li. His Romeo and Juliet movie was pretty decent and Hero wasn't entirely a chop suey film, but more of a cinematic version of an asian folktale.
As far as the Bourne movies... My Mom thinks Damon is cute, which makes me queasy.

Woof said...

Well, I'll compare it to your post two posts down (the Die Hard series) - Bourne mainly is "kicking ass with attitude" in this installment, and so it's expected.

[I very much enjoy the Die Hard series - the first one I've seen way too many times, even in the theater.]

FWIW, I liked the first and third Bourne films, the second not so much.

The Film Geek said...

Primalscreamx: I'm gonna give Hero a try, I think. On your suggestion. I'll keep my fingers crossed.

Woof: I first wrote that post comparing the two films, then changed it 'cause I love Hong Kong Phooey. :)

But, the comparrison is kinda what I mean: as unbelievable as Die Hard is, it relies on an oral narrative as much as the action to move the story. One liners, jokes, explanations and action paint the picture. In the Bourne flicks, some guy gets his ass beat, and I don't know who he's working for, why he's there or how it effects the plot except for that moment.

All Click said...

Whilst not a huge fan of the Bourne movies (Die Hard is so much better) I do enjoy them. The first one had mystery to it, some action and some quick thinking and detective work. The second one was kinda lame and I don't remember too much about it. Just that it seemed to concentrate on the action part too much.

But after watching the third recently, I enjoyed the movies conclusion. Sure, it had some fight scenes in it and Bourne kicking ass but it had a decent plot too and super spy stuff that even the James bond movies seem to neglect. There is an excellent scene with the British reporter in which Bourne tracks him being tracked. Good stuff...but not great stuff.

Anonymous said...

I guess most people who rave over Heath Ledger and Jake Gyllenhaal in Brokeback Boy wouldnt like the Bourne series. No big suprise here. kickin ass beats pumpin boy ass anyday

The Film Geek said...

Hiya All Click: I guess there was a big reveal in the third one. I guess...

Hey, Anonymous: Your wife and I were talking about that very same point last night.

jennyville said...


Buzzardbilly said...

Curmy loves the Bourne movies and hates Die Hard (which I like). I also like the Bourne movies, but not to the extent Curmy does.

In Bourne, I see a kind of redemption subtext where 'right beats might' in that Bourne (the lone agent who doesn't know who he is but can still kick an entire government's ass by rote) has been done terribly wrong by the government and no matter who they send, no matter what they do they cannot beat him.

It's basically die-hard with an international setting minus the staged laugh lines.

There's also a sort of humbleness to the Bourne character that most action heros lack (duh, being heroes and all). Plus, the chase scenes alone are feasibly fantastic rather than just fantastic. I saw one of the great chase scene directors (whose name escapes me now...damned Bob Marley fanclub) interviewed and he said the things they do with chase scenes in the Bourne movies totally blow him away.

iremonger said...

I liked the first one, but they get way too much attention - Ultimatum was the most overrated film of the year for me.