Matt Damon’s latest Bourne outing, this one ‘The Ultimatum’, followed the same formula as the first two. Fast paced action and a relentless, likeable hero up against a nasty, double-crossing institution.
The hand-held camera used throughout creates shaky images which no doubt were designed to convey urgency but instead creates sea-sickness. This vertiginous approach was not helped I admit by sitting in the front row of the packed out cinema with good friends Vijay and Rise Tall. At least we avoided the pre-show advertisements which postpone the actual start time by some 20 minutes.
Sore necks, dizzying headaches and spinning eyes detracted somewhat from the spectacle. My personal feeling is that incomprehensible scenes, where a cut lasts less then 2 seconds and the camera has a fit of the shakes, probably means that the action is poorly choreographed and is being papered over. Certainly we can never tell because it is just a blur of movement before the next image is thrust upon us.
The story line has our man Matt, whom I have dubbed Mr Walker – the Ghost Who Walks, because you just can’t kill him, once more on the road searching for his identity with the US authorities trying to trick him to “come in” where presumably they can shoot him in the Cuban. But he knows they can’t be trusted and has more tricks up his sleeve than Rambo ever had.
Damon has bulked up significantly since his first outing as Bourne five years ago and with his thicker neck and shoulders, especially from the bottom of the screen looking up, made me constantly question whether I had walked into a James Packer fan zone.
We missed Franka Potente in this outing. Her companionship of Bourne helped to make him more human; brought the best out of him, as many a good woman has done before.
Still, action is as action does and it works on that level. Just don’t sit near the front!