[With The Bourne Legacy set to open this Friday, we'll be taking a look back at the original Bourne trilogy. These reviews will contain spoilers since the movies have been out for years. Click here for my review of The Bourne Identity and click here for my review of The Bourne Supremacy.]
In 2004, the post-9/11 American had begun to take shape and The Bourne Supremacy reflected that change. It provided a conscious subtext, but the movie remained first and foremost an action-thriller. But by 2007, the change in our country was no longer worthy of a simple observation. The change had produced a feeling, and that feeling was anger. We had been misled into a war, and the government was taking extraordinary powers against Americans in the name of protecting Americans. The Bourne Ultimatum is unapologetically political, which is its greatest weakness and its greatest strength. Director Paul Greengrass still delivers a pulse-pounding blockbuster that retains the same intensity of Supremacy, but he pushes audiences to not only recognize the seismic shift in our country, but to confront our complicity in it.
[With The Bourne Legacy set to open this Friday, we'll be taking a look back at the original Bourne trilogy. These reviews will contain spoilers since the movies have been out for years. Click here for my review of The Bourne Identity.]
The identity of the Bourne franchise begins in the third act of The Bourne Identity. It’s when the character’s strengths and weaknesses begin to arise, and The Bourne Supremacy director Paul Greengrass took note of where not only the character was going, but where America was going. The Bourne Identity came out in June 2002, and the sense of our country’s post-9/11 world was still hazy. By the time The Bourne Supremacy arrived on July 23, 2004, the reverberations were clear. We had been led into a war based on faulty intelligence that was cherry-picked so that we could attack a country that had nothing to do with 9/11. Greengrass wasn’t obligated to insert the subtext into his spy thriller, but he was savvy enough to leave the political commentary simmering underneath an intense action flick that not only boosted Matt Damon‘s credibility as a kick-ass hero, but found a way to use hand-held cinematography to its full effect rather than a lazy shortcut.