Book reviews, art, gaming, Objectivism and thoughts on other topics as they occur.

Aug 28, 2007

The Bourne Ultimatum

It occurs to me that I might want to post something that isn't a.) gaming-related and b.) seven pages long before I lose 100% of my readership. This gaming thing occupies WAY too much space in my brain. I haven't even been working on my novel, although I think that will change once the game settles down into a regular thing.

Anyway, I did go see The Bourne Ultimatum, and my review of it is going to be curiously similar to my review of Live Free or Die Hard, namely that it was cool but not really memorable. I've been told the movies don't resemble the books very much, but I don't really like the spy-thriller-drama genre of books, so I'm just sticking with the movies.

The general plot is that a newspaper reporter digs up some dirt on a nasty government assassination project that involved Bourne. So, the scary government guys that want to cover up this information assume (stupidly) that Bourne must be involved in this somehow. Then he actually *shows up* and confirms this hypothesis because he'd like to find out what the reporter's source knows. It kind of gets crazy from there.

I think the primary reason this movie is not memorable is that it doesn't really dig into the character's motivations. Ayn Rand (in The Art of Fiction), mentioned that this was characteristic of Naturalist art works: that they only go as far as surface motivations without really digging into the underlying premises that drive people. In other words, that they only go "one onion skin" deep. There are myriad opportunities in The Bourne Ultimatum for people to say something really profound about the premises behind government coverups and murder, but it winds up amounting to things like:

Jason Bourne regrets killing people. He's sad.
Nicki Parsons likes Jason.
The CIA deputy director Noah Vosen is a bad man.
Pamela Landy is a nice lady.

So, the big dialogue scenes are lackluster and you find yourself saying, "yeah, whatever. Let's have an action sequence!" The trouble is, what's the point of having an action sequence without motivation?

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