Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Finely Crafted Action Film (rated 4 stars)

by Paul Greengrass

I love it when an action film takes chances with the style of shooting and editing and doesn’t condescend to the audience. With The Bourne Ultimatum Paul Greengrass creates a film that is stylish and fun with a breathtaking pace. While Greengrass received a lot of attention for United 93, the constraints of the events and the memories of September 11 made the film a strange mixture with many different forces acting both within and outside of he film. Freed of those constraints with The Bourne Supremacy and now The Bourne Ultimatum he creates intelligent action films that push the limits of the audience with hand-held camera, rapid cutting, and information delivered quickly and subtly. The brutal pacing and editing of some of the sequences in Supremacy gave people a headache and I loved them because they pushed things so far. In Ultimatum Greengrass gets the balance just right and gives the audience a bit more time to breathe, while still creating amazing sequences that built suspense with careful blocking, shooting and editing without resorting to bigger and bigger explosions.
While it’s technically a superb film, it also has some great performances with Matt Damon as the memory-deprived hero, Joan Allen as a CIA boss and an amazing performance from David Strathairn that was almost of exciting as the action sequences. This is what an action film should be – fun, intelligent and exciting.

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