Last Friday Times Online critic Cosmo Landesman hit on a political aspect in The Bourne Ultimatum (having opened in England that day) that I don’t remember any U.S. critic saying quite as concisely — Matt Damon‘s Jason Bourne is the ultimate left-thinking super-baddie, “the John Rambo of the liberal intelligentsia.”
Ultimatum “is a great and liberating [occasion] for liberal-kind,” Landesman observes. “For them, spy heroes have always been suspect: Bond was too much of a sexist, [Arnold] Schwarzenegger (True Lies) too right-wing and Vin Diesel (xXx) too dumb. But Bourne allows liberals to enjoy all the forbidden pleasures of the espionage blockbuster: they can see him kick ass, break necks, smash faces and shoot fellow human beings, and not complain about civil liberties because the victims work for the CIA.
“Bourne is the perfect liberal hero — he doesnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t have a fantastic secret-agent body, a tuxedo or a taste for martinis and one-night stands. He is fluent in five languages, drives brilliantly in any city and, as we see here, even reads The Guardian. More important, he blames the system for his sins and is consumed with liberal guilt for what he has done. Perfect.”