Thursday, 23 August 2007

The Bored Ultimatum

Am I the only person in the United Kingdom that didn’t like this (apparently not)? ‘Summer popcorn movie’ seems to be a critical compliment these days, but to me all it means is ‘big, dumb action flick’ (and I’m not all that keen on popcorn anyway).

Here are some choice reviews:

Greengrass uncorks some truly jaw-dropping action sequences and chases that had me on the edge of my seat. Relentlessly enjoyable. The Bourne franchise delivers a lot more entertainment bangs for your buck than any other action picture. - THE GUARDIAN

One of the year's finest pieces of moviemaking - THE OBSERVER

The action-thriller success story of the 21st century - THE INDEPENDENT

Unmitigated flapdoodle from the get-go - CHIP SMITH

The major problem I had with it is that I just didn’t feel emotionally engaged with it on any identifiable level. Some CIA bigwigs attempt to silence one of their own, who is by all accounts, a trained and dispassionate killing machine. Huh - let them kill each other – see if I care.

Admittedly, the opening sequence in which Bourne guides a Guardian journalist through Waterloo Station whilst being surveyed by a plethora of CCTV cameras is original and genuinely exciting, partially because someone other than a bunch of CIA operatives is involved. However, from that point on, we get the usual fist fights, incomprehensible car chases, and perfunctory nods to a coherent narrative. Not that it particularly matters of course, this being a ‘summer popcorn movie’.

It also transpires that Bourne has suddenly become indestructible, yet another pseudo-Bond who simply will not die. He emerges with hardly a scratch when he reverses a car off the top of a building, at which point a minor character states, ‘He’s just driven off a building’, just in case Paul Greengrass’ ‘kinetic’ (© every single British broadsheet) directing leaves you scratching your head asking, ‘What the arse just happened there?’

Honestly – what a load of flapdoodle.


Elinor said...

I thought it did what it said on the tin though I think it's suffered from being overhyped. That said, I did like the underplaying of a possible romance between Jason and Nikki.

Chip Smith said...

As Sarah Churchwell says in the Guardian, Julia Stiles is only essentially given three scenes - for underplayed, I'd be tempted to say 'underwritten'!

Even so, it's getting great reviews, but I'd like it a whole more if it had a heart as well as a brain.

Danny Stack said...

Haven't seen it yet. Seems to be doing no wrong everywhere, except here, so liking the review. 1st two impressive but there's only so much shaky camera and humourless hero I can take. Will advance with caution...

Chip Smith said...

Hi Danny, thanks for popping by.

I have to admit that all the shaky camera work got on my nerves toward the end - it was getting to the point when you couldn't really discern what was going on, which is a failure of direction in my book. Maybe I listened to the hype a little too much!