This weekend, I went to see "The Bourne Ultimatum," the third (and
allegedly last) installment of the Bourne series. Actually, I had
little choice. My friend had told me that it was Bourne or repeats of
Star Trek...it was sort of an ultimatum.
I think of Jason Bourne as the "American James Bond." Well part Bond, part MacGyver - he's handsome and smart, and always manages to squeak out of the most dangerous of predicaments. Fans of the Bourne films can always count on fabulous stunt work, as well as high-octane car chases that destroy an uncountable number of vehicles while still allowing our hero to narrowly escape from the wreckage.
"The Bourne Ultimatum" doesn't disappoint in any aspect: Matt Damon plays quite a handsome Jason Bourne. And the car chases are so exciting, the theatre chairs should have belts and air bags!! For the hunk, we can thank Damon's parents; for road-gear, we tip our hats to Audi and Volkswagen, starting with an agile Golf running at high speed through heavy traffic to a surprisingly well-handling Touareg in the showcase pursuit through Manhattan. Don't worry, New York survived...
It's no coincidence that the audience is left breathless afterwards,
says one theorist. "The car chase is like this sexual climax in the
Bourne films," says Louis Giannetti, author of "Understanding Movies"
and film professor emeritus at Case Western Reserve University. "It's a
long tradition. The payoff comes with the car chase." Who knew? I guess
it should have been more obvious to me, since Bourne's beloved was
killed in the last film (still hope for me), and his interaction with
this movie's adorable female lead (Julia Stiles) only hints that they
may have had some kind of romance in his amnesiac life before being
"Bourne." These adventurous chases culminating in explosive crashes are
the only kind of "action" Jason Bourne gets in the entire hour and 51
minutes that the film runs.
Quite astutely, a few sites have caught on for our need for...dare I say it... "action." Volkwagen has developed an entire site (www.bournestuntsimulator.com) dedicated to the spectacular stunts in "The Bourne Ultimatum," taking visitors behind the scenes of stunt car choreography with several video segments and interviews, as well as a 3D stunt simulator that gives visitors some "hands-on" experience in creating their own chases and crashes. And "Girls on Cars" Blogger Laura Burstein shares an inside look at the car action in her "Secrets of 'The Bourne Ultimatum' car chase scenes" blog at cnet.com.
So there you have it. All those chases and crashes in less than two hours, and an ending that leaves us wondering whether Jason will be Bourne again. The film is rated PG-13 and is in theatres now. Don't miss it.
By Brandy Schaffels