“They don’t make mistakes. They don’t do random. There’s always an objective, always a target.”
Sue’s Rating: Bourne’s European Tours Inc. Wear your tennies!
Sue’s Review: Gawrsh, I love a good car chase — especially the kind that makes me reminisce about driving through Chicago. All the chaos and adrenaline rush with no immediate mortal fear — now that’s fun! So while I didn’t trudge into The Bourne Identity with any real expectations, lo those many years ago, I bounced out with the happy giggles over one of the coolest chase scenes I’d ever watched on the big screen. For the most part, that’s really all I remembered about it, but it was more than sufficient for me to meet up with my movie-watching buddy, Becky, and hit the sequel, The Bourne Supremacy, on opening weekend.
And boy oh boy, I wasn’t disappointed in the chase scenes. In cars, on foot, on subways, trains and trams, our hero Jason Bourne (Matt Damon) skedaddled faster than a flashlit roach on a baseboard. In fact, the movie could have been titled, “Jason Skedaddles Around The World — With A Special Emphasis On Europe”, but I guess that would’ve been hard to fit on a marquee. Hmm. Skedaddle — I like that word!
Right, the chase scenes. Yup, those were incredibly cool. However, call me spoiled and over-demanding, but a comprehensible plot would’ve been sort of nifty too. Guess I should have been more careful about what I wished for because the lack of story really left an ambivalent taste in my mouth. Kinda like margarine.
I’m going to oversimplify, but basically we’re looking at your standard “Money laundering, corruption and finding an amnesiac scapegoat to blame it on” storyline (page 42 in The Uninspired Screenwriter’s Big Book O’ Plots). Maybe the powers-that-be decided that they really didn’t need to offer up more than an obligatory bit of expository monologue over some seriously convoluted flashbacks to show means and motive. I mean, it looked pretty slick, even if it didn’t make much sense! Heck, maybe they figured all the action would cover a multitude of patchwork storyboard sins. But in retrospect, I really wish they’d made more of an effort. In fact, my co-pilot left the theater for about two minutes, then sighed later that she must have walked out at just the wrong time, because surely everything had been explained then. Well… not as such. No.
There’s been a lot of talk about the herky-jerky camera work and I have to go with the majority here. It was frustrating because it effectively negated what should have been some pretty groovy action. I mean, if I had to learn all the choreography for the fight sequences only to see it all smeared up on the final product, I’d be somewhat less than a happy camper. On the other hand, this isn’t the first movie to suffer from iffy editing. (I keep thinking that I might have understood Eye Of The Beholder if it hadn’t apparently been edited by a troop of caffeine-addicted monkeys with pinking shears.) And on the bright side, at least there was enough left to keep things moving along,… and when the tempo picked up, it was downright nifty.
On the whole, if you’re into action, you’ll walk away satisfied. If you want plot… well hey, there’s always the book!