Wednesday, August 17, 2016
Especially the first two. They seemed to have actual “stories.” Yes, there was plenty of action, but we really cared about this guy and his search for identity. There were elements of the plot that even appeared, well… “plausible.”
Then there was a Bourne movie without Bourne. That’s like going to a concert and hearing, “Singing tonight for Barbra Streisand will be Brittney Spears, but don’t worry, she’ll do ‘People.’”
And now, after an absence of nine years, Matt Damon returns, which is cause for rejoicing except… this movie makes no sense.
Don’t worry, no SPOILER ALERT. There is no plot. It’s a two-hour trailer.
There seems to be a new trend in chase scenes and action sequences – editing so fast that you’re completely disoriented. Trading adrenaline for logic. There used to be storyboards. Each shot was carefully planned. Now it seems they throw shots in completely at random. And with a shaky camera to further throw you off. This was a typical sequence in JASON BOURNE:
A car speeding, a tire, an explosion, feet running, a bridge, a building on fire, a crash, two eyes, a crowd chanting, Alicia Vikander, six cars colliding, helicopter shot of the city, windows shattering, a tanker exploding, whip pan of headlights, car sailing in the air, a bank of twenty monitors, car going down the wrong side of the highway, surveillance camera shot, close up of Tommy Lee Jones but from MEN IN BLACK.
Yes, these sequences are more frenetic, but if you can’t follow the chase you lose the suspense. Now suspense used to be important in thrillers. But then again, so did dialogue, and storytelling.
And then there is the creative license we all must buy. Like how come there seem to be surveillance cameras everywhere that can even track Bourne in a crowd or through a window, and yet, after he escapes from a big action sequence he can walk anywhere he wants in London and Berlin without so much as his collar turned up and no one seems to care or be looking for him? He’s “off the grid.” Everyone in the CIA wears an earpiece and can hear everyone else crystal clear even in riot scenes and engine screaming chase scenes. Alicia Vikander can sit in a situation room, watch her laptop, and tell operatives that the “target is fifteen seconds away.” Wow. She should win her second Oscar for that. And a chase scene at night on the Vegas Strip would have to go one-mile-an-hour because anyone who has ever been there knows it’s bumper-to-bumper from the Venetian to Reno.
Asking the audience to accept creative license is one thing; asking them to get a lobotomy before entering the theater is another.
And in fairness, maybe I’m a little biased because I still feel my movie, VOLUNTEERS should have been considered the first of the Bourne movies. So what if our lead was Lawrence Bourne?
What did you guys all think?
By Ken Levine at 6:00 AM