Mike Kueber's Blog

March 9, 2013

Saturday Night at the Movies #65 – The Bourne Trilogy

Filed under: Movie reviews — Mike Kueber @ 3:22 am
Tags: , ,

The Bourne Trilogy is a series of three novels by Robert Ludlum, each of which has been adapted into a series of three movies starring Matt Damon:

  • The Bourne Identity (2002)
  • The Bourne Supremacy (2004)
  • The Bourne Ultimatum (2007)

After Ludlum died in 2001, the Bourne franchise was taken up by Eric Van Lustbader, who wrote seven new Bourne novels, the first of which, The Bourne Legacy (2004), was made into movie in 2012.

Despite the popularity of the Bourne movies, I had never seen one until I watched The Bourne Identity (a/k/a Bourne 1) a couple of weeks ago.  Somehow I couldn’t imagine the guy who played Good Will Hunting as an action hero.  Boy, was I wrong.  Damon superbly plays the movie-star version of TV’s Keifer Sutherland in “24.”  Their fighting scenes are obviously tricked up to suggest athleticism that neither man possesses, but I found myself totally willing to suspend disbelief.  These guys are action heroes, and we have their back.

Bourne 1 was so good that I quickly followed with Bourne 2 and 3.  After watching the great Bourne 2, a friend warned me that I would be disappointed with Bourne 3.  In fact, he suggested that Bourne 3 was even weaker than the new non-Damon Bourne 4.  I disagree.  Although Bourne 3 was not as good as Bourne 2 because it lacked any romance, I found Bourne 3 riveting for the entire two hours.  I kept watching the timer on the DVD player and begrudged it nearing the two-hour mark, kind of like getting to the end of a book that you want to keep reading.

The Rotten Tomatoes critics liked both #1 and #2 (83% and 81%), but loved #3 (94%).  The audience loved all three (91%, 89%, and 91%).  I give three stars to #1, four stars to #2, and three and a half stars to #3.

p.s., because of my friend’s glowing review, I decided to watch The Bourne Legacy, too.  It was disappointing.  Although the film has a strong connection to the earlier Bourne movies (even including an overlapping timeline with Bourne 3), Jeremy Renner is no Matt Damon.  The well-done action sequences just aren’t the same when you don’t have the emotional connection with Renner that you had with Damon.  The Rotten Tomato critics score it at 56%; the audience gives it 57%.  I agree – two stars out of four.  According to news reports, Bourne 5 is being planned with Damon, not Renner.


1 Comment »

  1. The movie “Bourne Legacy” bares not resemblance to the book written by Eric Van Lustbader. It’s another example of Hollywood writers butchering a great franchise with no regard to the integrity of the story just to keep a cash cow going.

    Comment by Patience — April 27, 2013 @ 3:08 am | Reply

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