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Thursday, Jul. 29, 2004 | link
Monday night Steve and I went to go see The Bourne Supremacy, which was kind of awesome! Tense, exciting! Especially if you drink an entire bladder-sized coke before the previews even finish rolling and then sit back and let the tension in your pee hole build and swell right along with the entire 108-minute narrative arc of the movie.
The fight and race sequences were especially, unusually insane, even more so than last time (and they were plenty crazy enough in Identity). Flurries of fast, fast cuts flickering past at an alarming pace, for alarmingly long stretches of time. "What?" I shouted during the crazy car/tunnel chase, "What?" And then when it was over, finally, I clapped aloud, my face a round, sweaty, smiling simpleton moon. (Note: The view from Yosemite's Dewey Point brought on a similar reaction, "Bravo nature, excellent work.")
The action sequences were cut up into such small slices, and the gaps between them were so widely spaced, it should have been impossible to figure out what was happening. The raw information was just too limited, and what you could see went by way too fast. Yet still, the flow of action was easy enough to follow. And I think it's because, just as Maid in Manhattan used emotional shorthand to flesh out, however lamely, its characters and motivations, the Supremacy people (the director, the editor, the whomever) trusted us, the action movie fans, to fill in the gaps. We've witnessed an arsenal of car chases and fisticuffs over years of watching shoot-em-ups and crash-em-intos. We understand that a tight shot of a foot hitting the break, along with a glimpse of hands quickly turning a steering wheel, along with a certain sort of screeching, indicates that the car has done a 180. Without actual footage of the entire car spinning to guide them, less-seasoned, pre-French Connection viewers might be confused by the next shot of a pending head on collision. But well-actioned viewers know enough to piece together what's happened. It may take a milli-beat to figure it out, but that just adds to the thrill of the experience, the frantic scrambling to catch up. Much like a bladder straining to contain a block-busting load of urine.