Friday, December 27, 2019

Close Call

I was having a chat with some friends about the best movie endings of all time, and one came to mind as the closest-to-greatness good ending ever.

The Bourne Ultimatum.  Jason Bourne is shot off a rooftop, and he plunges down into the river.  We cut to Julia Stiles’ character watching a news broadcast about the events of the film, and the various officials involved in the illegal government program being taken into custody.  There’s mention of Bourne’s involvement, and how he was seemingly killed…except after three days of searching, his body hasn’t been found.  At hearing this, Stiles just grins to herself and we get the little violin cue at the start of Moby’s “Extreme Ways,” a.k.a. that song that plays at the end of all the Bourne movies. 

It’s almost entirely perfect.  BUT…then we get a brief shot of Bourne’s motionless body in the water suddenly stirring and swimming away.

Hopefully I don’t spend the rest of my life in movie arguments, since that seems like a fresh kind of hell.  But, I will argue to my dying days that they didn’t need the shot of Bourne actually coming to.  Just end the movie on Stiles smiling and then the Extreme Ways cue.  Her smile tells you everything you need to know; my theatre audience back in the day even laughed and semi-cheered out of amusement that Bourne had once again escaped danger.

I’d say this was the worst decision of the Jason Bourne series but, well, then the fourth movie happened.  And that weird spinoff with Jeremy Renner. 

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