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Bourne Again


We watched The Bourne Ultimatum again tonight and it was as stunning as ever. If you're one of the two people in the world who've not seen it them you've missed a treat.

The Bourne trilogy1 is unusual in movie terms in that it got better as time went on. The first, The Bourne Identity is a good solid thriller directed by Doug Liman and featuring some excellent fights and a great car chase while it wheels around Europe.

Paul Greengross took over for the second Bourne movie The Bourne Supremacy and he really raised the stakes with edgy camera work and an amazing car chase through Moscow.

Greengross is back for The Bourne Ultimatum and the camera work is stunning. Lots of handheld stuff and some marvellous fast cuts (if you've got the DVD take a look at some of the scenes at Waterloo station for example where it's going cut, cut, cut, cut really fast but it just works). Some great set pieces ("I don't think so, if you were in your office ..." for example), another excellent car chase, in New York this time and not quite on the same epic scale as the Moscow one (I suspect the City fathers were less willing to play), and it never slows for a second.

We were exhausted at the end of it. Again.

Apparently the Bourne Trilogy is why Casino Royale turned out to be a hard edged as it is: they realised that the Bond franchise had to up its game to keep up. I can well believe it

A couple of things made me smile:

  • Whenever Bourne is being chased by the police you hear whistles ... including in London. When did a London copper last carry a whistle!?
  • Whenever the action moves to a new location you get the name below for the hard of thinking. So there's the Eiffel Tower and it says "PARIS, FRANCE". Well, fair enough, most cities aren't so recognisable. But a British film wouldn't bother with the country name I don't think, I think "PARIS" or "MADRID" would do. And when the location is "CIA HQ, LANGLEY, VIRGINIA" there's no mention of country at all. Similarly when the action moves to New York we don't even get a "NEW YORK" - we're just meant to know.

How sweet. Paul Greengross is English of course, but he knows who he's selling the movie to.

  1. In the unlikely event that you've not seen any of them Amazon have all three movies as a box set. Do yourself a favour: go out and buy it. Today.

Tags: films Written 23/07/08

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