Monday, August 27, 2012

Bourne Againe

Why are modern movies about (E@L has measured this) 70% car chases or motorcycle chases or people running over rooftop and down ever-narrowing alley chases? (Maybe not Prometheus, but it has other faults.) OK, Bullitt was awesome in 1968 and the 11 year old E@L was wetting his pants as Steve McQueen's Mustang flew down the hilly city streets of San Francisco.

But enough with the faux adrenalin rush already, no point - E@L is on beta-blockers. And he has grown up (and out and around) and watches adult movies nowadays. No, no, no... he means movies for adults with, you know, serious themes and deep ideas and art, and hardly any car chases.

BTW, the Bullitt chase sequence was 9min and 42sec of a 114min movie: ~12% (E@L for once did not make those numbers up) but before you know, movies will be 100% car chases. As if, you say.


E@L watched the latest of these Jason Bourne chase movies recently and was stunned by the height to which his disbelief was required to be suspended. And he felt that it was suspended by its most sensitive bits too. And not JUST in the chase scenes - OK, mainly in the chases scenes.

Now he can take a guy leaping from craggy peak to anfractuous rocks in the alps without suffering broken bones, serious sprains, frost-bite or loss of bladder control. He can take an injured* guy wrestling a, get this, wild wolf in the snowy forest and forcing a homing device down its throat (OK, maybe this is tough one to swallow. [Ha!] Have you ever tried to give a two year old in a tantrum some medicine?). He can take Rachael Weisz. He means he can take Rachael Weisz giving up a promising career in neurochemistry research to get lost in the Philippine Islands with someone only a viral DNA mismatch away from being a drooling, mouth-breathing Rambo (and that relationship is going to last, E@L can tell), but some things are too much to take:

a - a vehicular chase in the Manila streets. Ha! It once took E@L seven (7, count 'em) hours to move from Intramuros to the airport (less than 12kms). Needless to say he missed his flight to HK. And the next one. And the next one. And the…

b - a female resident of Manila asking the police for help! Even bigger HA! Reliable statistics indicate that (E@L has measured this) 99.9% of all crimes in Manila, etc... are carried out by, with, or at the behest of the good (excellent one and all) men and women of the Philippines Police force. Them, or political thugs and terrorists. But mainly them.

c - the surprising absence of girly-bars and other sex-tourism establishments as the camera pans up any given road, street, lane or ever-narrowing alley. Needless to say all of these establishements are owned, managed, and protected by the said Police. Nope, not one view, not one plaintive arm stretched out of a smokey-glassed door in Angeles city, not one face from behind tattered curtain in the, um, rest of the slums with the pleading call: "You buy me drink!" Some say these places are the only genuine reason for expat men to visit Manila! Ha ha. Ha. Ha... Hmm... ... OK, next point...

d - the almost complete absence of blitheful toddlers wandering haphazardly (or playing hopscotch, or marbles) on the roads (see a:). Many millions [per square km] (E@L does not make these numbers up, often) of snotty-nosed, filthy-faced, bare-feet kids in wrong-sized, hand-me-down clothes live a subsistence existence wandering the car-parks which constitute Manila's roads, streets, lanes, and ever-narrowing alleys. Now you can blame their parents and their eschewing of condoms for this. You can blame the Police (with just cause), but E@L prefers to blame The Pope. But the question remains: Where are they in this movie?

e - not every second vehicle, nor every third, was a gaudily decorated (usually with religous symbols) Jeepney. These ubiquitous (in the Philippines they are) transports are reanimated from the wreckages of abandoned US Second World War vehicles, everyone knows this.


In short: yet another crap modern movie. It didn't annoy E@L the way Prometheus did… Which is not saying one hell of a lot - E@L has had fulminating sores eating the flesh off his leg that didn't annoy him half as much as Prometheus.


BTW, RIP Tony Scott.

And God Bless You.


* Was he injured? Can't remember.


DanPloy said...

The last movie I saw at the cinema was, I think, The Rum Diaries, and there were car chases in that. I think.

Skippy-san said...

Can't have references to girly bars you know, it might encourage Trafficing in Persons.

* No hookers were injured during the production of this movie*.

Love the line about the traffic too-because its so true.

Tim F said...

No Jeepneys? In that case it was a mocked-up Manila on a Hollywood backlot. A bit like Casablanca really.

(Casablanca made great play of the fact that its cast was drawn from over 30 different countries. Oddly, this didn't include Morocco.)

expat@large said...

There may have been Jeepneys, just not a lot of them - as is my memory of Manila. That's hilarious about Casablanca.

BTW Bangkok is boring. Any recommendations for somewhere new for dinner? I've only been coming here 14 years and still stuck at the usual half a dozen places (+ noodle stalls in walking distance from Nana.)

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