Suspension of disbelief is crucial in movies. You can’t walk into an action movie thinking one-against-twenty equals impossible odds. One-against-twenty is even. Take Angelina Jolie in her new movie, Salt. Judging by her appearance, she couldn’t beat a drum. And yet, here she is: pounding Secret Service agents into jelly. This, despite the fact she could wear a wedding ring round her wrist. Despite the fact her coat has more muscles than she does. In Salt, she’s made of bricks. It’s up to the audience to decide if this is okay. “Plausible” doesn’t come into it. After all, you’re not invited to believe in her actions; you’re invited to enjoy watching them.
He’s hurt and he’s bleeding but he’s still moving fast.
That’s how The Bourne Ultimatum begins. If ever a movie was defined by its velocity then this is it. He doesn’t stop. There’s no time, as in a Bond movie, to sit and drink or seduce a girl. Jason Bourne – though never quite morose, isn’t given to having fun. He’s a spy for the War on Terror-era: victory means he’s alive, failure means he’s dead. He doesn’t smile. Matt Damon has a way of playing the spy as if spying was the worst job in the world, and he just happens to be the best at it. He isn’t Bond, but he isn’t Kim Philby either. It isn’t so much that Bourne doesn’t drive fast cars and kill people; he just seems to do it in a way that’s plausible as opposed to pornographic. He doesn’t want you to get off on what he does. He does it because he has to.