Tuesday, August 14, 2007

The Ultimate Search for Bourne With Google

Much awaited Bourne is back - The Bourne Ultimatum is as much a political movie as an action adventure: director Paul Greengrass made it after the second Bourne film and United 93, the movie about what happened on one of the jets hijacked by terrorists on 9/11. All three movies take place in that anxious place between reality and perception, and The Bourne Ultimatum is made with the same shaky, documentary-style cinematography that invites us into the grey and faithless world of the spy. Not since John le Carre suffered the end of the Cold War have we had such a rich and adult view of what secrets mean.

Not that there’s much time to think about it. The Bourne Ultimatum is also breathlessly tense: Greengrass stages three chases with a beautiful eye for the suspense of the everyday. In the first, Bourne leads a newspaper reporter (Paddy Considine) through a London train station as assassins follow them both. It’s one of the movie’s several chases-within-a-chase: everyone has a cellphone, all of them are tapped, and Bourne orchestrates the journalist’s flight even as he is being followed and in turn following. It’s very long and unfailingly gripping, and Greengrass manages to convey the twists and complications clearly within its crowded reality.

The Bourne Ultimatum ends with the answers Bourne has been seeking. These turn out to be disappointing, maybe because the movie has to come to a shuddering halt while we go through flashbacks that don’t tell us much that we couldn’t guess. Bourne’s long run to find out who he is turns out to be not that important. What he was really learning, it turns out, is who we are.

I would rate it 4.5/5

Quick Trivia - Universal Pictures and Google have joined to promote the movie and at the same time tout several of Google's products to moviegoers.

"The Ultimate Search for Bourne With Google," is an interactive game that uses several Google products, including search, maps, images, translation and YouTube, to let players adopt the persona of Jason Bourne, the film's hero. Players are given challenges each week at a dedicated Google site, www.google.com/bourne. Another feather in the cap, I must say.

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