What was in the envelope turned out to be the Bourne Ultimatum. I have not seen a movie this intense in at least 40 years¹. Really, from the first frame this movie is running at top speed!
Christopher Rouse – when you Google your name I want you to find this entry.
Christopher Rouse’s work made this movie. He is the editor. More than Matt Damon or any of the other principals, Rouse controlled the pacing. I’m not sure I’ve ever called out an editor before. It was an amazing job. Whatever they paid you… it wasn’t enough.
Matt Damon plays Jason Bourne, a spy/assassin employed by the CIA. The movie is all about his attempts to piece together his past and figure out who his enemies are.
Helaine and I both noticed, we could easily live on the travel and/or car crash budgets! The movie moved across Europe, Northern Africa and New York City. A veritable fleet of cars was destroyed.
It’s spy fantasy. There are certain incongruities you have to buy into. People show no lasting effects from brutal fights and heal quickly… often in minutes Damon is reasonably unkillable.
The movie bestows upon our government’s spy agencies powers and abilities far beyond those of mortal men. Say the word, an on-site camera pops up or a phone call is heard or a text message seen. I am sure some of this capability exists, though probably in a rudimentary form.
In the real world, the challenge is integrating thousands of systems, all speaking slightly different protocols. Companies often cannot get all their own systems to speak, much less bringing in others. Tales of the FBI’s difficulties with technology are legion.
Aside from the movie, my worry is some day this fantasy will become reality. I have no doubt intelligence agencies lust for this stuff. I pray we don’t allow it to happen without sufficent oversight.
In the end, this complex story makes sense. There is enough betrayal and double crossing to last a lifetime, but it works seamlessly.
¹ – Sometime, late in 1967 or early 1968, I visited a friend at SUNY Albany. We went to an on-campus screening of “The Brig.” I am still affected, having seen this scarily intense movie.