International Man of Mystery
No I did not just watch one of the Austin Powers films. I have two weeks of classes left in the semester plus finals week. In the two weeks of classes I have six papers due. Naturally I decided to watch some movies than write papers.
I’ve actually seen all three of the Bourne films before, however I watched all three again this morning/afternoon and will talk about them as a whole.
FIrst let me say that I’m one of those people who has probably read the book before the film, mainly because I also love books. In middle school I went through a phase where I read all of Robert Ludlum’s novels and I’ve loved every novel. They are amazing. On that note let me say that if you want to compare the films to the novels than you will be sorely disappointed. I was actually extremely upset when these films came out because the butchered the amazing story Ludlum had created. Simply comparing the stories, the novels are better simply because they are much more thrilling. The novels are about the character, not the action that you get from the film. It’s also a very emotional series.
That aside I still like the movies, I just have to ignore everything from the novels. Out of all three films one of the running things I continually love is the score. John Powell does an amazing job for the most part at creating a score that really plays alongside the action on-screen. I was actually listening to the soundtrack the other day, which is the reason I decided to watch the films again, and found myself being very childish. I felt the adrenaline pumping and did the whole running about, looking for baddies. Fortunately my friends went a long so I wasn’t the only person on campus looking like an idiot. To me though that really describes the score, because it really give off that vibe. Brings out the kid in me in wanting to go play ‘pretend’ which I did a lot when I was little (and obviously still find myself doing to a degree).
Now moving along to looking at all three films. Doug Liman direct The Bourne Identity, which is the first of the three movies. That being said there is an obvious difference between the first film and the two that follow, which are directed by Paul Greengrasss. I personally have always liked the first film. It dealt with the character of Bourne, which is really supposed to be the driving force of all three films. “Who is Jason Bourne?” I don’t really have much to say other than the first film is a really enjoyable thriller however it is completely different from the two films that follow it.
The Bourne Supremacy and Ultimatum truly are action flicks. A lot more going on as far as action in these two than the first, which goes both ways for me. The action sequences are good in all three films and it was nice to have a bit more of them, however they were also longer and took the film away from the mystery of the story. Supremacy is easily my least favorite. The story is nowhere near as good and really is all about following Bourne about as he doe more of the same in the first film, with more emphasis on him just kicking ass. Ultimatum at least follows a more similar story line to the first film in regards to Bourne actually trying to discover who he is and develop as a character.
One thing that a number of people apparently dislike about Greengrass is his use of hand-held cameras. I have to admit that there were times in Supremacy where they were a bit to jerky and disorienting. For the most part though I actually enjoy that kind of work. Gives the action a bit of flair so long as you can actually tell what is going on. There are a couple of films out there that do what Greengrass does. They try to make it feel like your there and make the scene more realistic by making it jerky, but really all it odes for me is give me a headache and leave me disappointed. To many times this technique goes to far and I end up seeing absolutely nothing. If I want to watch a ‘realistic’ video of some people fighting I’ll go to YouTube. I like actually being able to see what is going on when I watch a film. Don’t get me wrong I still liked it at times, more so in Ultimatum. It’s just a matter of how carried away you get with the camera work.
I suppose I should mention the acting in here, but really I can’t see why. The performances were good in all three films I suppose, but they weren’t outstanding. In Supremacy it felt like Matt Damon only had a handful of lines. For the most part his scenes were more about the action or finding something out in silence, rather then having him speaking. The plus side of that is that he does become more of an enigma. The problem with that to me is that Bourne is supposed to be developing as a character and while Damon does a good job showing emotions without dialogue, it would have been nice to have given him a few more lines. One other thing that’s nice about all of these films is the use of reoccurring characters, whether they’re in larger supporting roles or just random lackeys that have stayed on for two or three of the films.
So in ultimately they’re good movies. Personally you won’t be missing much if you skip watching Supremacy, but it’s not like it’s such a horrid movie that you’ll regret watching it. Don’t expect a whole lot out of the story and don’t expect the action the action to be a lot of firefights and explosions. It’s not Die Hard.