Saturday, August 18, 2007

“People, We Have a Situation!”

And that situation? Jason Bourne! He's so slippery!

In "The Bourne Ultimatum," David Strathairn's CIA bigshot delivers some variation of the above line in nearly each of his scenes.

The third installment of this smart action/espionage series really plays as an indictment of the Patriot Act. No matter where you go or who you talk to, Big Brother is watching, and He may want to use one His "assets" to "take you out."

But Matt Damon's Bourne is always one step ahead. Whether it's London's Waterloo Station, the streets of Madrid, or the rooftops of Tangier, Damon's always got an exit strategy to foil the CIA types. That's really all you need to know about this movie. Sit back and enjoy the ride. And what a ride it is!

Despite Strathairn's hackneyed dialogue, every character in the movie exudes intelligence and intensity, none more than Damon, who's completely convincing as Bourne. Joan Allen is once again excellent in her role as a CIA investigator (she and Bourne need to "get together" in the next installment); she's one of America's most underappreciated actors.

Sadly, Albert Finney looks like he may have filmed his last role. The once dashing "Tom Jones" now looks like he can barely move. It was painful to watch him attempt to walk down a hallway, and his gin blossomed face looked particularly bad in the flourescent lights of the interrogation room set. It's hard to believe he's a good 6 years younger than Clint Eastwood, who could probably play Jason Bourne convincingly himself.

Comparisons to the James Bond franchise are inevitable. While the Bourne movies are grittier and reflect the way real-world political situations affect espionage efforts, they're utterly devoid of the sly fun of the best Bond films. Let's have a laff or two, Bourne screenwriters!

Despite the somber tone, this is a can't miss action flick.

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