August 22, 2007

Shock negative review of new Bourne film

Title:
The Bourne Ultimatum
Rating:
2 out of 5 stars

The funny thing about the Bourne films is how hyped they are for such a forgettable franchise. (That, by the way, is the only funny thing.)

Reviews across the board are giving the new one, The Bourne Ultimatum, 4 out of 5 plus. And okay, it’s fairly gripping with some cool action set-pieces, but there’s very little more to it. I suppose the reason the series is so critically acclaimed is that is it’s not pretentious or flashy. It has the memory-loss gimmick and a smattering of murky intrigue but apart from that it’s balls-to-the-wall action. No hi-tech gadgetry, no glamorous locations, no witty repartee, no suave goodie, no wacky baddie.

Matt Damon acquits himself well as the unassuming killing machine and his antics provide all the entertainment. Maybe it’s because I’m more of a comedy fan but I’m finding it hard to remember a more humourless film. The only times I laughed were a part of a “Ha! Awesome” reaction to something brilliant Jason Bourne did. This happened frequently, happily, but in between you just had endless, frenetically-shot car chases, motorcycle chases, rooftop chases (once you’ve seen one Tangier window smashed by Bourne jumping through it, you’ve seen ‘em all) and fist fights.

When Bourne first appeared it was understated and worthy, which was probably refreshing for some – especially compared to the later Brosnan Bond films. Maybe Casino Royale has made me look on the Bourne in a new light – it offered what The Bourne Ultimatum does and so much more. Bourne kills a man in a toilet with his bare hands. We get that in Casino Royale along with a more intricate plot, better characters and even a bit of humour.

And why cast Albert Finney as a senior CIA type when you had Brian Cox in the last one and his character, a senior CIA type, shot himself? I got a bit confused.


Brian Cox


Albert Finney

Just me then.


- 4 comments by 3 or more people Not publicly viewable

  1. Mathew Mannion

    Wrong, Bourne was awesome.

    22 Aug 2007, 23:29

  2. John Dale

    once you’ve seen one Tangier window smashed by Bourne jumping through it, you’ve seen ‘em all

    I’d have to disagree. One of the most amazing one-off shots in the whole movie was where Bourne jumps from one building to another through a window – and the camera follows him through. It was an amazing piece of photography, done with two stuntman, one doing Bourne’s jump, the other following him with a camera strapped to his head. Just stunning.

    23 Aug 2007, 09:09

  3. i agree with John – one of the best and most creatively shot mainstream films i’ve seen for lord knows how long.

    The sheer energy and edginess of the camera work was staggering – kudos to the cinematographer if you ask me. they could have played the whole thing without dialogue and it would have had no less impact.

    23 Aug 2007, 13:12

  4. I never said the film wasn’t technically superb; it’s just I offer a maximum of half a star for this aspect of a film.

    28 Aug 2007, 22:20


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