17 September 2010

31 Movie Days: 17

Day 17 - Favorite Series

It'd be far too obvious and far too simple to say the STAR WARS saga. So I'm not. And it would be far too obvious to say the GODZILLA series, as well. So I'm not. Therefore, I'm going to choose a series that had just come out within the decade, a series spanning two different directors and one very awesome action star.

The Bourne Trilogy

Matt Damon as a action hero. Guess I never really pictured
that. Silly me. Under the guidance of Doug Liman, Matt Damon played the titular hero Jason Bourne in The Bourne Identity in 2002, a man who lost his memory but somehow knows how to fight and kill better than your usual everyday Joe. By the films conclusion, he gets a good idea of the man he used to be, and why exactly he doesn't remember a single damn thing from before waking up in the sea. The central question of who he is and how he became who he became is the crux of the trilogy. Bourne Identity is a all around splendid film, with some great chase sequences and brilliant casting - Chris Cooper, Julia Stiles, and Clive Owen among them. But it was 2004's The Bourne Supremacy, directed by Paul Greengrass (United 93), that sold me on the series. Many have criticized Greengrass for his extensive use of hand held camera to throw the audience into reality, but I loved it, and it completely threw me into the story, the action, the characters, and the conspiracy. Supremacy was the creative team firing at all cylinders, making a exhilarating movie that was relentless with the action and the Damon awesomeness. The film also introduced Joan Allen in a pivotal role that would run into the third story as well, crafting a immensely likable character that is doing her damnest to find out who Bourne is and stop him. Julia Stiles even gets a cameo, but her presence greatly increases in The Bourne Ultimatum. As with the previous installments, Ultimatum is hardly faithful to the Ludlum source material, instead branching in its own direction. Bourne is on the run again, but forces beyond his control calls his hand, resulting in a raid in New York meant to finish everything once and for all. Breathtaking, brilliant, and just as breathtaking as Supremacy, Ultimatum was utterly fantastic, and quite the satisfying culmination of the series - depending if a fourth one never moves forward into production.

Jason Bourne is a great character, although I attribute my likeiness to the guy wholeheartedly to Matt Damon's fantastic performances in all three films. Julia Stiles, Joan Allen, and Brian Cox - all splendid. Direction by Greengrass is a beauty to behold, especially the cinematography of car chase sequences, as well as fight scenes. For example, the cat & mouse game in Tangiers was the single most heart-pounding, intense sequence of 2007. Worthy of respect and admiration by all critics and preferences [as in drama lovin' or comedy lovin'], the Bourne trilogy is perfect.

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