Saturday, August 4, 2007


I thoroughly enjoy a good action movie, especially one involving espionage. But with "good" being the operative word, they are hard to come by. Thankfully, I can always look forward to a Jason Bourne movie. We saw the third last night, and it was excellent: sneaky fun, migraine-inducing chase scenes, and an intelligent, sympathetic, ridiculously un-killable protagonist.

For my light summer reading fare, I did actually try to read The Bourne Identity, the first book in the series by Robert Ludlum. By chapter 12 I gave it up, disgusted and bored. It vaguely resembled the events in the movie and in almost no way resembled the characters played so likably by Franka Potente and the suffering Matt Damon. It's rare, but this is one of those occasions when Hollywood has dramatically improved upon the written material. Bravo, Liman, Greengrass.

Of the trilogy, Ickie and I agreed Identity had the weakest ending (falling down the stairwell) but the best car chase (Mini Cooper). Our favorite scene in Ultimatum had Bourne brilliantly navigating his journalist contact through Waterloo station, packed with CIA agents on their tail. Supremacy has the most emotional impact of the three, lending much gravity to Damon's character. Yet all three films succeed as a nearly seamless trilogy, with the third movie mirroring scenes from the first as well as effectively repeating my favorite line from Clive Owen: "Look at what they make you give." I told Chris the only thing that could make these movies better is more Clive Owen. Wouldn't it be fun if Bourne was equally matched with and pursued by "The Professor" throughout the series? Then maybe by the end they could team up and form some kind of super good-looking rogue spy team! And also come to our house for dinner.

Also, I wish there was more of Potente (who I'd want to include in that dinner, she just seems like fun--I mean, she bought a Vespa dealership, for heaven's sake), although I agree that the loss of her character is pertinent to the series's plot. She's the moral compass, and that moral direction is cemented in Bourne as a result of her death. (I think Franka Potente is so pretty, but in a very non-traditional sense. She's got those big German features, but it totally works for her, and I loved her in Run, Lola, Run, and I kind of want to have her hair from the Identity premiere. It's so red and stripey.)

Our only negative experience in the theater last night was sitting through the wretched mix of previews for other action movies, the worst of which was National Treasure 2: Book of Secrets. Apparently all the U.S. presidents have a book of secrets, and Ickie fantasized about how funny it would be if, once Nick Cage and his ragtag band of two-dimensional misfits find it, it's a little pink heart diary with a lock on it. If only! At one point I turned to Ickie and whispered "I can barely breathe what with the reek of Bruckheimer so thick in the room."

For a hilariously glowing review of The Bourne Ultimatum, click here. (Be forewarned that there's a good bit of profanity due to the reviewer's boyish excitement.) If you can't get out to the theater and need a good action/comedy on video, don't miss Hot Fuzz, which is absolutely BRILLIANT.

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