Details: More information can be found at https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0440963/
Of the four Bourne movies (five if you include the one with Jeremy Renner), this one is by far the best. The action is the best choreographed, filmed and there’s just a ton of it when compared to the other movies. There is tons of shaky cam, which is a little nauseating, but shaky cam is a signature of this franchise.
Details: More information can be found at https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0372183/
There isn’t a lot to say about this movie except that it improves on The Bourne Identity in almost every way. The action is better, the cinematography is better and the budget is better. If you enjoyed The Bourne Identity, watching this movie is an easy recommendation.
The story is still questionable and the acting isn’t impressive. However, this is an action movie and the action is great.
Details: More information can be found at https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0258463/
I remember when this movie first came and the effect it had on all the action movies that followed it. It was a watershed moment in the action movie genre. All of a sudden, tons of movies started adopting more brutal fight scenes while using random objects in the environment and with tons of shaky cam. It all started with this movie.
Jason Bourne movies (at least when directed by Paul Greengrass) are extremely formulaic and if you are coming to see this movie, you should expect that. Actually I love the formula of a Bourne movie and my main criticisms with this movie are where it deviates from the formula.
The premise is this. Bourne is pulled back in to the action by hacker Nicky Parsons when she alerts him to some shenanigans going on with his father.
The basic Bourne formula is a few set pieces (a few running around scenes, driving scene, and shaky cam hand to hand scene) with a thin general plot. You come to this movie for the action, shaky cam, and editing, not an Academy Award winning story. And this movie delivers in all regards. Jason Bourne runs around outsmarting everyone while kicking everyone’s ass.
My only complaint with this film is that there is only one real hand to hand fight scene and it was kind of bad when compared to the visceral fight scenes in the prior Bourne films. I guess you can’t help that though because Matt Damon is getting kind of old. I mean, he’s in his forties now.
Score: 6.8/10 When that Moby song played at the end of the movie, the crowd cheered as did I. This was a decent movie.
If it breaks, then fix it.
The Martian differs from other isolation or space isolation movies in that this film is a positive one. Films like Castaway, Gravity, and even 127 Hours are similar to each other in that they explore the desperation of being alone and trapped. These kinds of films are opportunities for an actor to show just how much despair they are capable of portraying. The Martian does away with all of that and tells us that that’s pretty stupid and that when you have a problem, you fix it. You don’t wallow in misery.
And that is the most refreshing part of the film. Things keep going wrong. Matt Damon is stuck on Mars. He is running out of food. Something breaks. He needs to get from point A to point B. And while Damon’s character shows moments of frustration, he inevitably keeps going. He keeps working and he keeps fixing.
It’s a positive movie. There are no aliens or exploration of sadness. Just Matt Damon fixing things. And a lot of jokes.
That’s not to say there was no suspense or emotion. This is more a drama than comedy. There were points where I was on the edge of my seat, despite having a good idea where things were headed. It still kept my attention and made me laugh.
Performances were great in that the film does not want to sink into depression. No one’s performance was extreme. No academy awards for anyone I imagine. However, the world was still believable and they certainly got the tone of the film right. Great job all around.
It was also nice to see Sean Bean not die for once.
Score: 7.7/10 Great film. I’m a sucker for “different,” for variety. This film took a genre/type of film and changed the tone just enough to make it unique. Worth a watch in the theater.