(Universal, 2007) D: Paul Greengrass, w/ Matt Damon, Julia Stiles. Rating: NNN; DVD package: NNN
Director Paul Greengrass has a great way of giving us a sense of being inside the action. He shoots a lot in crowds, keeps his framing open, his camera always moving, most often at eye level, and he holds his stunts to a believable level. The result is highly suspenseful.
And a good thing, too, because Jason Bourne is the most boring action hero going. Apart from split-seconds of remorse, he has no discernible personality, just a moment-by-moment focus on the task at hand. He’s like one of those young men the army trots out to reassure us about our mission in Afghanistan.
Matt Damon plays him to perfection, but it’s up to others to carry the drama, which they do well. Julia Stiles has a crisp energy as the CIA officer with the vestigial conscience, but her character is clearly no match for the David Strathairn’s megalomaniac CIA deputy director and Scott Glenn as his soul-deep-evil boss, both of them involved in the covert operation that took Bourne’s memory and made him a killing machine.When he’s not wasting his commentary time hyping his movie, Greengrass has some interesting remarks on his style and, unlike many, he gives credit where it’s due: second unit director and stunt co-ordinator Dan Bradley owns many of the movie’s best moments.
Part of the the extensive making-of doc is organized by city, with emphasis on the problems and pleasures of location shooting in each one. Good idea.
Extras Director commentary, nine making-of docs, deleted scenes. Widescreen. English, French, Spanish audio and subtitles.