The Bourne Philosophy

Jason Bourne (Matt Damon) asking Pamela Landy (Joan Allen) to consider donating to his Kickstarter.

Simeon Cruikshank, a good friend of mine with a made-up name, used to drunk-dial me at 3am, has a saying which he applies to any tough situation in his life. “What Would Jason Bourne Do?” After watching the third Bourne flick (THE BOURNE ULTIMATUM) on the telly last night, I’ve decided that Bourne’s answer to any challenge is to run at it full-tilt and kick it in an unexpected portion of its anatomy, before leaving it bleeding and unconscious and surrounded by confused policeman, nervously unholstering and reholstering their side-arms.

Simeon’s line of thinking is understandable. In three films there is apparently no corner that Bourne can be backed into. If ever he has to think on the run, he is even more dangerous. He tends to grab the nearest domestic object and turn it into a trap or bomb.

Bourne is supposed to be a super-agent created by breaking him psychologically and replacing his original identity. His training apparently included his being brainwashed, waterboarded and sleep-deprived by a man who looked like Daddy Warbucks from ANNIE but with hair (Albert Finney). You might think these Camp X-Ray antics would have turned Bourne into a quivering jelly, but no, somehow he kicked ass like Chuck Norris.

In last night’s flick, THE BOURNE ULTIMATUM a.k.a BOURNE 3: WORLD TOUR he was helped by Pamela Landy (Joan Allen) or as I like to call her, Pamela Landy and Her Fabulous Hair. Although if memory serves, it was more fabulous in BOURNE 2: HEROES OF ROCK where she was hunting Bourne in Berlin.

This time the heat was being applied by a guy who looked like Ed Murrow from GOOD NIGHT AND GOOD LUCK (David Strathairn). He was revealed to be one of a triumvirate of CIA Bad Guys. This guy, the Anti-Murrow wanted to kill Bourne for reasons that were convoluted and uninteresting from my position on the sofa. I believe he was covering for the dude from SILENCE OF THE LAMBS (Scott Glenn) who had apparently transferred from the FBI and was now replete with reptilian evil as he sat at his desk collecting some decent wages and per diems for talking into a telephone.

Meanwhile Landy was trying to save Bourne’s self-destructive, truth-seeking ass, as he travelled from Europe to New York by way of tramp steamer. He arrived and gave a false name at Ellis Island – Moishe Bournekowski. Somehow, this sent up a red flag to Pamela and the Landettes – her retinue of hot boys with awesome IT skills. Bourne watched her from a building across the street with some child’s binoculars that he won in an amusement arcade. Bourne phoned Pamela and tipped her off that he was in town and he was all, “Where can a sailor have some fun in a big city like New York?” He continued to flirt with her, but ruined it by saying her hair was looking a little flat and not quite as anchorwoman chic as it did in Berlin.

Then there was a three-hour car chase through the streets of New York which was quite like the one in Moscow in the second movie, but not as well choreographed as the one in Paris from the first movie. Surprisingly, after an apocalypse of vehicular devastation, no one called a Code Orange Terror Alert and Bourne got away with only a slight limp.

Suddenly Bourne, a squadron of CIA assassins and the full casts of several Broadway shows including Rent and Wicked were headed for the training building in New York where Bourne was first transformed into a robotic killer. The assassins rolled into the building like oranges. They parkoured up walls and fire escape stairs. The cast of A Chorus Line warmed-up in the lobby.

Jason Bourne found Daddy Warbucks and we were treated to a series of flashbacks. He discovered his true identity. Bourne had an epiphany and realised that he wanted to sell real estate in Maine. He thought about blowing Daddy Warbucks’ brains out, but decided no, that’s the old me. The new him, the Realtor or perhaps Life Coach, needed to get the hell out of the building.

Then Bourne jumped out of a window and there was a bit of kerfuffle constructed to make us believe he might be dead. He leapt from the top of a building and was simultaneously shot by the Anti-Murrow causing him to fall in a leaden fashion somewhat like a Karl Stefanovic punchline. He landed with an ominous splash in the Hudson. It seemed that he might finally be Shit Out of Luck. Meaning dead. But he (SPOILER ALERT) was very much alive. He swam away to his uncertain future while a very expedient television news story explained that all the CIA Bad Guys had been rounded up and would probably be out of a job for the same length of time Ben Cousins was out of AFL level footy.

THE BOURNE ULTIMATUM isn’t as good as the first two Bourne flicks. It’s one of those break-neck, rattling good yarns etc. The emotional side of the film – your concern about what happens to Bourne – is completely predicated on the work done by the first two movies. This is the action packed, emotionally empty thrill-ride that completes the saga.

Returning to Simeon’s proposition. I believe that the coming week will be improved by tackling the difficult stuff with a dash of Bournelicious savvy and last-minute risk-taking behaviour. Give it a go. Practice your combat rolls and solar plexus punches. Although, in a way, I believe it doesn’t matter What Jason Bourne Would Do – as long as it is kickass and there is no thought of the consequences.

Mr Trivia


8 thoughts on “The Bourne Philosophy

  1. While I’ll agree that that the third film “The Bourne Blah blah blah” was not as good as the first two, I maintain that it does not matter. As long as there is Matt-Damon-as-Jason-Bourne, all is well with the world. Plain old “Matt Damon” is neither here nor there, but when he is Matt-Damon-as-Jason-Bourne (or eve Matt-Damon-IS-Jason-Bourne), I am one very happy punter.

  2. @NDM: Matt Damon certainly upped the ante for Action Heroes who can act. I think that’s part of it – even though the antics may be over the top he can always ground the character in emotions you recognise. And I believe you may get your wish – there’s talk of a fourth Bourne, now…

  3. @Steve – Hi Steve! Thanks for that – I always appreciate being read and people who take the time to comment.

  4. Lovely Stuff Phil – I’m very happy I’ve found time to catch up with your witactular insightations…

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