Oh what a tangled web the Bourne writers weave…

The constant retconning on the Bourne movies is really something to behold. The first sequel didn’t do anything too outrageous — it just added some flashbacks to an earlier point in “Jason Bourne’s” career — but it ended with an epilogue in which Bourne, an amnesiac, learns his real name. So the second sequel had to get a wee bit more inventive, if it was to keep this amnesiac-on-the-run storyline going; instead of picking up where the first sequel left off, the bulk of the second sequel actually takes place before the epilogue to the first sequel. And then, by the end of that second sequel, Bourne’s real name had been shared not only with Bourne himself but with the world at large. The amnesiac-on-the-run premise had been exhausted. The franchise simply had nowhere to go from there.

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Review: The Bourne Ultimatum (dir. Paul Greengrass, 2007)

In this high-tech digital age, the makers of high-profile action movies sometimes like to brag about how they used real cars and real stunts — even when some of the defining images in their films couldn’t possibly exist without pixels on a screen. (Yes, Live Free or Die Hard, I’m pointing at you and that spinning airborne car that just happens to miss our hero by a hair.) But every now and then, along comes a film that really seems to have happened in front of the cameras — and The Bourne Ultimatum is just such a film.

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