The Bourne Identity, directed by Doug Liman
This is a great example of a movie franchise where I have my head in the clouds and haven’t seen any of the movies. I came across this on Netflix and decided to check it out, even though all of the movies aren’t there.
This movie does not mess with names, bar those of Jason Bourne (Matt Damon), Marie (Franka Potente), and Wombosi (Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje, otherwise known as Mr. Eko). It very much feels like a movie shot pre-9/11, without dastardly Arab characters, without the spy network in place to know where everyone in the Western world is. Despite the plot being thin, it is extremely straight forward, and there’s really not a whole lot to wonder about other than the obvious, which is what happened to Bourne’s memory. It also does not go overboard, outside of Bourne using someone’s body to eschew countless flights of stairs and fly down them instead. It was an enjoyable movie regardless of that. I did not realize that Clive Owen was in this movie as the sniper until I looked it up on IMDB. In some movies that would be quite the problem, but in this one it’s more of a surprise. The less excess parts, the better. Chris Cooper was quite good in the role of the CIA agent, one of the few parts given any screen time. I was very surprised when he ate it.
There were few wonders of cinematography, which isn’t a big deal, but rather something to point out. The car chase is an exception to that, done with a really shitty hatchback. The ending with Marie and Bourne reuniting was cliched, sappy, stupid, and totally unnecessary. Even though I’ve already mentioned it, the scene where Bourne flies down flights of stairs, using somebody’s body as a magic carpet bothers me immensely. He lands on top of the guy and walks away…no. That’s all I can say. I know there are three other movies, two of those being with Matt Damon, and to some extent I am struggling to see how those could be done and make sense at the same time. I’m sure they made sense to Hollywood in any case. I am also not familiar with the source material that pertains to this. I did like the movie, but it was flawed. Good for what it was. I haven’t seen the others, so no spoilers please.
Star Wars: The Force Awakens
That movie was really satisfying and a lot better than I was expecting or hoped for. Far better than the prequels. I did think it was goofy that once again there was the issue of a megaweapon, but it’s Star Wars so you expect that. I don’t pay attention to pre-movie hype and I’m very good at avoiding spoilers, so there were things in the movie that I didn’t expect. Finn was a very good character with a lot of layers, which isn’t something I’d have expected from this series. Obviously with so many actors I was previously unfamiliar with, I’m looking forward to seeing where their careers go after this. More interested in seeing where the series goes, though. Lots of ways for things to go.
As for negatives, I really didn’t care for seeing TV actors from shows I’ve watched as an adult in this movie. That’s not out of dislike for them, it’s just too weird. I imagine our parents used to say the same thing about event movies like this one. Or they didn’t and that’s okay. I also thought the third act of the movie flew by too quickly. Could have done with slowing down. The cinematography was different and very un-Star Wars like, but I didn’t have a problem with that. I am also hoping that these movies don’t get in the habit of having far too much fan service rather than telling a story that stands on its own.
Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice
I didn’t expect to find this better than Man of Steel, but that’s where I am right now. The movie had a shitload of plotholes. There were a lot of things wrong with it. Jesse Eisenberg had one of the worst performances I’ve seen in a while. Because of that in particular, I’ll never watch this movie again. Yet, after watching it, I found some of the more controversial things in it to be just fine. For example, I don’t really give a shit about Batman killing people. It made sense in the context of the story, that he’d been doing this for 20 years and gave less of a shit. The idea that he’d blame Superman for what happened in Metropolis is really stupid though. The idea that Batman wouldn’t know that Clark Kent’s mother was named Martha is also extremely stupid. I just didn’t get how that revelation would be any surprise or affect him in any way.
There’s a lot to say about this movie and it’s hard to cover everything. I guess I’ll go one by one.
Glad they didn’t cover the Batman origin very much. I could go the rest of my life without ever seeing it again. It’s the sole thing that keeps me from watching Batman Begins again. Jeremy Irons gave a very good performance as Alfred. Problem is it’s hard to see somebody that cool as being Alfred. Affleck made a good Batman. Would like to see more with somebody other than Snyder directing the project. Wonder Woman was the best part of the movie. I guess the thing I disliked the most was that they turned Batman into a moron. The ending was a copout as well. Too much going on here and too many unanswered questions. However, I suppose other than the car chase when guys were inexplicably shooting while their car was flipping over, I thought the action scenes were good.