Tuesday, January 27th, 2009 at 9:52 pm
The Bourne Trilogy Blu-ray Collection
Directed by Doug Liman & Paul Greengrass
Starring Matt Damon, Joan Allen, Julia Stiles, Franka Potente, Chris Cooper
Universal Home Entertainment
Release date: January 27, 2009
Between the new Daniel Craig James Bond films, and the Bourne trilogy, we’re kind of in a golden age of smart spy movies. And while the Bourne films may not have as long a history when compared to Bond, they’ve made up for it by bringing a new dynamic to the spy film, bringing a darkness and realism to the genre that hasn’t really been seen before. And with a fourth film in the works, it seems will be seeing more of our favorite amnesiac action hero for a while.
The three Bourne films — The Bourne Identity, The Bourne Supremacy, and The Bourne Ultimatum — each have a similar story: Jason Bourne (Matt Damon) follows various clues to try and discover the secrets of his past, inevitably running into a shadowy government agency, fighting against another deadly assassin, and getting into an action packed car chase.
Each film has enough twists and turns to make each one entertaining by themselves, but the three films really add up to one big story, as by the end we have most of the answers as to who Jason Bourne really is and where he comes from. That might be my biggest complaint about the third film, in that it answers all the questions a bit too definitively. If I had to choose one, I’d say that the second film, The Bourne Supremacy, is my favorite of the bunch. It’s got the best chase scene of the three films and I just have fun watching Karl Urban as the villain. But, they’re all pretty fun to watch, and you can’t do wrong with any of them.
If there’s one thing the three films have going for them, it’s a cast that’s way better than deserves to be in a hard boiled spy film. Brian Cox, Joan Allen, Chris Cooper, David Strathairn, Scott Glenn, Clive Owen. The list goes on and on. Of course the whole thing is held together by Matt Damon’s performance as the titular main character. His work on the films has created the closest thing ever to an American James Bond. And while he might not have the charm and sophistication of England’s greatest super-spy, he makes up for it in grit and determination. Surely the Bourne films have had an effect in the harsher tone of the Daniel Craig Bond films.
You want special features? I got three discs of special features for you. Of course you get the standard deleted and extended scenes, directors commentaries, and then you get a wide range of shorts covering the fighting, chase scenes, explosions and all the other fun that make the Bourne films unique. One of the most interesting things to me was the look at the life and work of Robert Ludlam, the guy who wrote the books the films are loosely based on. Watching these shorts make me want to track down the books and see what they’re like; from what I hear, the books are quite different from the film. The exclusive feature on these Blu-ray editions are character files, location analysis, and more information as you watch the film, as well as the Bourne Orientation, which shows the connections of Jason Bourne’s actions in all three films. Between all three movies, you’ll have more than enough to keep you watching for a long time.
So is The Bourne Trilogy Blu-ray set worth your time and money? Yes, it is. Hollywood doesn’t make near as many good action films as they used to, but these are three of the best from recent years, and they’ll look great on your HD system. Sure, if you already own them, there might not be a ton of new features to force you to pick them up again, but if you don’t own them already, this is the perfect way to see them. Hopefully the next film will find a way to keep the excitement going while finding a new path for the stories to take.