Jason Bourne Film Dynasty Alive & Well ~ BitterSweetLife

Monday, February 25, 2008

Jason Bourne Film Dynasty Alive & Well

We were prevented from seeing The Bourne Ultimatum in the theater by two deadly assets named Aidan and Asher, so we found ourselves breathlessly waiting for the film to show up on DVD. Seeing it at home didn't cause the same degree of convulsively tensed muscles, hyperventilation, and sudden twitching that the movies usually provoke, but that didn't stop me from enjoying every intense, frenetic minute of it.

I talked about it afterwards with my friend, Matt, and we pretty much saw eye to eye: Yes, the third film upheld the awesome legacy of the Bourne series; no, my sons should probably not watch the films until they were, say, five years old; yes, that rooftop chase scene in Morocco was amazing; no, you didn't feel like Jason Bourne was winning out so effortlessly this time around...

And then, abrupt disagreement.

"Yeah, you could definitely see how the pieces are in place for a fourth movie," said Matt.

"Are you serious?" I said. "There's no way that will happen. Now Bourne knows who he is. They've planted a few clues that point to a happier life for him. He has no one left to kill. And besides, the Bourne films were always going to be a trilogy."

"I'm pretty sure there will be a fourth film," said Matt.

Well, it always hurts to be wrong--I say that based on the seven times that I have been (in the last 24 hours)--but I was completely wrong this time, and I have no regrets.

Matt Damon and Bourne director Paul Greengrass have just agreed to shoot a fourth film. And last night, The Bourne Ultimatum quietly cleaned up three Oscars (editing, sound editing, mixing)--pointing to the jerky, documentary-style cinematography that has come to characterize the Bourne dynasty. Very effectively, in my opinion.

Obviously, this raises questions. What will the next Bourne film be about? Will J.B. return to his home town (Nixon, MO), maybe careening through Kansas City en route? Will we learn what drove Bourne to sign up for "special" CIA duty in the first place? (A choice that has haunted the entire trilogy--uh, first three movies.) Almost certainly, the film will need to further explore Bourne's deeply fragmented personality. But what will this one be called? The Bourne Conspiracy? The Bourne Legacy, as in the fourth Bourne novel?

If the series needs additional star power, Ben Afleck has already expressed strong interest, suggesting that Bourne could be humanized by a sidekick. He describes his vision for the fourth movie (wink, wink):

"I envision the sidekick as being taller, slightly beefier, and having darker hair than Bourne. He may not be the smartest, but he could provide comic relief and would always look out for his best friend."

According to Affleck, the fourth film in the Bourne franchise, which has traditionally taken place in European locales but was most recently set in New York City, needs a refreshing location that would surprise filmgoers, such as gritty South Boston. Just moments after the opening credits, the amnesiac CIA assassin would learn that he grew up there, had an abusive childhood, dropped out of high school, and once worked as a janitor at a local college.

If you need to brush up on your Jason Bourne knowledge, including the water (baptism, rebirth) motif that appears in each film, read this excellent review of Ultimatum.

If the car chases and fights get choreographed on schedule, Bourne4 will show up in 2010.

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John said...

AJ - Just have to say that I also loved the Bourne movies. If you read the books they give you more insight into his background. I am also stoked about their being a 4th movie and they did leave it wide open for the 4th...I am glad they choose to proceed that way.


Ariel said...

Cool, thanks for getting my back. I've thought about reading Ludlum's books. Always wondered how they compared to the movies. Maybe I'll tackle them after I read my last Adam Dalgliesh (P.D. James) mystery. After all, 2010 is a long time to wait for the next Bourne fix.

Jen in Budapest said...

LOVE the Bourne series. When is the scheduled 4th one coming out? So exciting! I also didn't watch the Oscars but interesting that it took 3 for editing and mixing. thanks for the details. I hope you'll keep me posted on this one.

Matt said...

The Bourne Redundancy will be just as thrilling as the first three.

On a serious note, I've been lurking for a while and enjoy your blog. Thanks!

Will Hicks said...

The movies have almost NOTHING to do with the books. You could say the movies were "inspired" by the books.

They're great books, but don't except your typical adaptation job when you read them.

Will Hicks said...

Don't get too excited about Bourne 4 just yet.


Ariel said...

Typical Hollywood slipperiness. They know they want to make the movie...

One thing is true, though: Damon and Greengrass can't risk making a 4th film just for the heck of it. Bourne isn't the Die Hard dynasty.


Culture. Photos. Life's nagging questions. - BitterSweetLife