The Bourne Variations (9)

By: James Parker
September 2, 2016




Jason Bourne, fifth in the cycle, is a movie
      best missed.
The director co-wrote the screenplay with
      the make-up artist.
Or with the grip, or the gaffer, or the
      best boy.
At any rate, he wrote it with someone who
      wasn’t Tony “Michael Clayton” Gilroy.
And Gilroy is the master of the Jason
      Bourne mythos.
He plucked Bourne from an airport
      paperback and gave him poetry and pithos.
Gilroy supplies the sadness when Bourne
      goes solemnly and bureaucratically
      berserk. He
Supplies the depth, and any Bourne movie
      that he did not write is an automatic turkey.

Jason Bourne uses all the classic Bourne
But so clumsily, so crudely, that we who
      love the classic tropes feel like dopes.
Must Bourne be pursued again by crooked
Must he again look swollen with
      significance, while having nothing to say?
Must he again be surveilled and
On multiple screens, in multiple scenes,
      while the Agency fails to get him whacked?
The plot is crass. The great Bourne memory
      mystery is misused.
And certain scenes will make no sense to
      you, because through the previous scene
      you snoozed.

Don’t see this movie: it’s a reverse blaster, a
      time-travelling disaster, a shockwave of
      such shiteness
That its wrongness blows backward and
      defeats the earlier rightness.
In conception it is sufficiently forlorn
To almost put you off Jason Bourne.
It bloats the franchise.
It increases its pantsize.
I did enjoy the bit where Bourne, by
      suddenly opening a metal door,
Puts a goon on the floor.
That stunning little ping!
Was quite the thing.
(Or was it more of a clang?
In which case: quite the thang.)
But even so:

bourne damon


During 2016, James Parker contributed a monthly series of poems, to HILOBROW, about Jason Bourne movie scenes.

“The Goddess of Memory Speaks to Jason Bourne” | THE BOURNE IDENTITY: “The Duellists”. THE BOURNE SUPREMACY: “Congratulations, You Have Just Met Jason Bourne” | “The Graduates” | “The Murder of Agent Daniel Zorn, in Berlin, by CIA Section Chief Ward Abbott”. THE BOURNE ULTIMATUM: “Big Daddy” | “The Assassination of the Journalist Simon Ross” | “Full Priority Situation”. THE BOURNE LEGACY: “Alaska, Alone” | “Aaron Cross to the Wolf” | “Fairy Story”. JASON BOURNE: “Watching the Jason Bourne Trailer” | “The Bourne Travesty”.

Series banner contributed by Rick Pinchera.


MORE PARKER at HILOBROW: COCKY THE FOX: a brilliant swearing-animal epic, serialized here at HILOBROW from 2010–2011, inc. a newsletter by Patrick Cates | THE KALEVALA — a Finnish epic, bastardized | THE BOURNE VARIATIONS: A series of poems about the Jason Bourne movies | ANGUSONICS: James and Tommy Valicenti parse Angus Young’s solos | MOULDIANA: James and Tommy Valicenti parse Bob Mould’s solos | BOLANOMICS: James traces Marc Bolan’s musical and philosophical development | WINDS OF MAGIC: A curated series reprinting James’s early- and mid-2000s writing for the Boston Globe and Boston Phoenix | CROM YOUR ENTHUSIASM: J.R.R. Tolkien’s THE HOBBIT | EVEN MORE PARKER, including doggerel; HiLo Hero items on Sid Vicious, Dez Cadena, Mervyn Peake, others; and more.

MORE FAN FICTION at HILOBROW: James Parker’s THE KALEVALA (Finnish epic fanfic) | James Parker’s THE BOURNE VARIATIONS (Jason Bourne fanfic) | Lyette Mercier’s SEX AND THE SINGLE SUPERHERO (Avengers fanfic) | Jason Matthews’s MYSTERY MACHINE (Scooby Doo fanfic) | Joe Coen’s WEREN’T YOUR EYES BLUE? (Cheers fanfic) | T.G. Gibbon’s THE FIREFLY (Marx Bros. fanfic) | Chad Parmenter’s GOTHAMIAD (Batman fanfic) | Josh Glenn’s BEASTLY NUISANCE (Argonautica fanfic) | Flourish Klink’s THE LIFE AND DEATH OF PATROCLUS SON OF MENOETIUS (Iliad fanfic) | Josh Glenn’s THE LAWLESS ONE (Xena fanfic) | Charles Pappas’s THE LAW (Superman fanfic) | John Holbo’s SUGARPLUM SQUEAMPUNK (Cthulhu/Clement Clarke Moore fanfic) | Josh Glenn’s MUCK-ENCRUSTED MOCKERY OF A MAN (Zarathustra/Swamp Thing fanfic).

MORE MOVIES at HILOBROW: KLUTE YOUR ENTHUSIASM: 25 neo-noirs of the Sixties (1964–1973) | James Parker’s BOURNE VARIATIONS series | Alix Lambert’s SÉRIE NOIRE series | Jacob Mikanowski’s SCREEN TIME series | Josh Glenn’s SHOCKING BLOCKING series | Joanne McNeil’s ALL MY STARS series | MORE: including dozens of HILO HERO items on movie directors and actors.