Editor’s Note: Read on as Jim, movie buff, and Julie, fiction fanatic, duke it out over which Bourne experience is better: Book, or Movie? WARNING: SPOILERS AHEAD.
JIM: I am going to get tickets to The Bourne Legacy on my lunch hour. I can grab one for you if you are interested in going?
JULIE: I don’t know. I’m in the middle of reading The Bourne Legacy, and I already know the movie is going to be nothing like the book. So I’m not sure I want to watch it. Not that any of the other Bourne movies were anything like the books.
JIM: OK, I am going to be honest with you, I have never read the books. But how can you not want to see it after the three blockbusters, Identity (2002), Supremacy (2004) and Ultimatum (2007)? I know you’ll miss looking at Matt Damon this time since the new storyline stars Jeremy Renner, but Renner is a top notch performer who is really hitting his stride in his acting career. Plus it features A-list Academy Award nominee co-stars Ed Norton, Rachel Weisz, David Stratharin and Albert Finney. This film is going to be pure summer excitement! You have to go.
JULIE: Well, you hit the nail on the head with the Matt Damon comment, and not just because he is sooooooo cute. The book The Bourne Legacy is about Jason Bourne. How can you have a movie called The Bourne Legacy without Jason Bourne?
As for the other movies… Jim, the books are so much better.
I mean in The Bourne Identity, the story does follow a man who has lost his memory and is fished out of the sea, his body riddled with bullets just like in the movie, But the book is all about Jason staying one step ahead of the infamous terrorist Carlos the Jackal and the CIA; as he races through France, Switzerland and New York with the Canadian Dr. Marie St. Jacques (whom he kidnapped from an Economics Conference in Zurich), he tries to discover who he is, and why he has had plastic surgery, including some microfilm implanted beneath the skin of his hip. Now, that’s exciting! Why would the movie need to change any of that?
JIM: Carlos who? Ok, obviously his character was omitted from the movie. I will admit you have me a little curious about the book now. But as far as excitement goes, I don’t see how a book could compare to the movie’s ability to make you jump out of your seat or hold your breath as Jason Bourne is hanging off the side of the U.S. Embassy. Not to mention the top notch car chases through the narrow streets in France. The scenes make you gasp in anticipation and cringe at every turn. The Bourne movies to me are like the Bond films on speed!
JULIE: Okay, I’ll admit those car chases are better than anything I could have imagined — they are so good. And there are a lot of car chases throughout all three of the previous Bourne movies, like the first car chase in The Bourne Supremacy where Marie dies, which is very disappointing, if you ask me –because in the book The Bourne Supremacy, Marie doesn’t die at all. In fact, she is a main character throughout the book, and the one who brings Jason back from the edge after he attacks the house on Victoria Peak, where unbeknownst to him Marie (who he has been told is dead) is being held in order to bring Jason back in. The book The Bourne Supremacy (my favorite of the Bourne books, by the way) is about Jason chasing a man who is claiming to be him, and it comes down to the question: Who is the better Bourne?
JIM: I guess this “Who is the better Bourne” question works as well for this upcoming movie, with Matt Damon stepping away from the series. If Damon had starred in it, it would have been as Jason Bourne. So in a way you can ask, “Does Renner or Damon make a better Bourne?” You do have my curiosity peaked about the books though. You might have inspired me to actually read them. Especially hearing that Marie lives. To me, I know the movies will be tops. To watch a story play out on the big screen with such intrigue and excitement- nothing gets the adrenaline going faster!
JULIE: Okay, I’ll make you a deal. I’ll go see The Bourne Legacy movie in theaters and give Jeremy Renner a chance, if you read one of the books. I have them all which you may borrow, or you can find them in the Suspense/Thriller section at any Half Price Books.
So which do you think is the better Bourne experience — book or movie?
— Jim (and Julie)