Wednesday, February 1, 2012
100 Movies - No. 16: The Bourne Trilogy
Action, Mystery, 342 minutes
Directed by Doug Liman and Paul Greengrass
Starring Matt Damon
There are times when I don't want to analyze what I am watching. Although Bourne has a mystery at the heart of the story, it's essentially fun to watch and doesn't require much thought. Matt Damon stars as Jason Bourne and we experience events from his point of view. That makes us sympathetic to his situation.
Imagine not knowing who you are and wondering why you have certain abilities and a group of people trying to kill you. Damon is not a typical action hero and has more range than most actors cast in such roles. The resulting blend is more than pure thrills. Damon makes you care about whether Bourne lives or dies. I found myself wanting him to uncover the conspiracy and forge some kind of new life for himself.
The supporting cast throughout the three movies is also worthy of mention. You'll see Clive Owen, Chris Cooper, Julia Stiles, Franka Potente, Brian Cox, Joan Allen, David Strathairn and Scott Glenn.
I made the mistake of watching the third part of the trilogy first because it was on cable and I was curious. The story makes a lot more sense when you see it from the beginning. After experiencing the story in the correct order a couple of times, my rating increased.
If you are a fan of action, The Bourne Trilogy won't disappoint. If you need decent acting and an intelligent plot, it's also up to the task. It's hard to be bored at any time and the conclusion is satisfying.
If you like the Bourne Trilogy:
The Bourne Legacy is due to be released in 2012 with Jeremy Renner in the starring role. He's set to play another assassin, so it's not strictly a Bourne story, but it's set in that world.
The last two James Bond movies are closer in feel to Bourne than classic Bond. Casino Royale and Quantum of Solace, with Daniel Craig as Bond, contain many of the elements that make Bourne work.
Action fans who value good acting should probably take a look at Liam Neeson in Taken and Unknown. Taken is pure action/revenge and hardly has a dull moment. Unknown has a similar feel to early Bourne as Neeson's character suffers from amnesia and wonders why he has certain skills.
If you're looking for a female lead, Angelina Jolie does a passable Bourne impersonation in Salt.
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