My Cultural Diet

332 reviews of movies, TV shows, books, restaurants, etc. My own private Goodreads, Letterboxd, and Yelp all rolled into one (more info here). Ratings are 100% subjective, non-scientific, and subject to change. May contain affiliate links.

The Bourne Supremacy
Paul Greengrass took over from Doug Liman for the second Bourne movie and famously implemented his patented blend of hand-held shaky cam footage and hyper-kinetic editing. It’s become a point of criticism these days, even self-parody. That’s especially true during the fight scenes, which cut on every single hit or kick to become a barely intelligible blur of fists, feet, and faces. At the time, however, Greengrass’ style felt raw and dynamic, with a sense of immediacy lacking in a lot of action films. Watching it now, there were moments where it was a bit headache-inducing. But I was also struck by how legible it could be (Greengrass is no hack), and how the aesthetic — which basically bombards the audience with flashes of information (e.g., a random photo, a street sign, a glimpse of someone’s face) — would almost certainly be how someone as highly trained and skilled as Jason Bourne would see the world. What’s more, it’s nice to see a movie about a government assassin who not only expresses regret for his past actions, but actually apologizes to his victims. (Though it would’ve been nice if he’d also given them the number of a good therapist.)

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