When "The Simpsons" movie turns out to be more realistic than "The Bourne Ultimatum," you know something is up. Nevertheless, the thriller is a big hit, proving once again that film audiences now want live action cartoons rather than crisp, realistic films like "The Ipcress File" or "The French Connection."
For those of you not familiar with the Bourne series, Matt Damon plays a CIA agent who becomes involved in the "Program" (as in get with the). This sinister plan results in Damon being brainwashed, making him a lean, mean killing machine with no personal memories. Thus, he can murder without conscience, kind of like what Hollywood producers often do to scripts.
Anyway, Damon runs around beating up four guys at a time and eluding authorities all over the world. However, he turns on the CIA, so they must kill him. But they can't since Matt is Clint Eastwood and Sean Connery times 10. Plus, he has Julia Stiles helping him. No way the CIA has a chance.
I knew this movie was trouble when I read the reviews. Almost all the critics liked it. The only way American movie critics would like a violent car chase film like this was if it bashed the USA, which, of course, it does.
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The CIA guys are bad, bad, bad. And just to make sure Indonesian and Pakistani audiences get the picture, the CIA chief issues his evil orders with the American flag clearly seen on his desk. No language barrier here, no sir. The U.S. intelligence agencies are fiendish enterprises that want to hurt Matt Damon and actually force Julia Stiles to cut her own hair. How could they?
Actually, both Mr. Damon and Ms. Stiles don't have to do much acting. Damon does work for the far-left MoveOn organization and is on record as requesting the Bush daughters serve in Iraq.
The actor also told the Idaho Statesman that the CIA's use of water boarding is an erosion of our American values.
Guess what? There's a water boarding scene in the flick. What a coincidence!
Stiles is also down with the far left. On a cable program she explained why she missed a MoveOn event by saying: "I was afraid that Bill O'Reilly would come with a shotgun at my front door and shoot me for being unpatriotic."
Look it up if you don't believe me.
In the Bourne movie there are no shotguns to frighten Stiles, but plenty of automatic weapons fired at U.S. intelligence agents, not by al Qaeda, but by American Matt Damon. As the casualty count rose, I kept thinking about all those disability payments we taxpayers would have to pick up.
Now, all of this is harmless nonsense to those of us who understand the hero and villain business, and realize the simplistic bias that permeates Hollywood. But to impressionable audiences, the anti-American theme could resonate.
The director of the movie, Paul Greengrass, told the Times of London that he purposely tapped into the mistrust the world has of the USA. In my opinion, Mr. Greengrass has used his skills as a filmmaker to create a slick propaganda package that will make him millions of dollars. And standing between Mr. Greengrass and real-life terrorists who would slit his throat are, of course, real-life American intelligence people.
In the end, the America-haters will love "The Bourne Ultimatum" and apolitical others may enjoy the action and carnage. The movie is a perfect storm of misguided ideology, silly plotting and absurd conclusions. In other words, it's a blockbuster.