Bourne again?

I heard yesterday that they are planning a 4th Bourne movie. The article I read questioned what they’d do, since Robert Ludlum only wrote 3 Bourne novels. However, if that author had ever read any of the novels, they’d have known that that wouldn’t matter, as the 2nd and 3rd movies had nothing whatsoever to do with the books.

I never could figure out why they used the book titles for the movies – even rereleasing the books with new covers that said “soon to be a motion picure!” – when they completely ignored the book plots. In fact, they managed to kill off 2 of the main characters of the latter 2 books in the first movie, and Bourne’s arch enemy, Carlos, the Jackal, never appears at all.  They could have come up with new, unrelated titles, like Bourne to be Wild, or something. How about a little creativity?

Now, I really enjoyed the first movie, and thought the 2nd movie wasn’t too bad, either. It was after seeing both movies that I decided to read the 3rd book (thinking, stupidly, that they had at least stuck to the same general plot).  I then went back and read the 1st two books.  Ludlum isn’t my favorite author, by a long shot, but he did create some very interesting characters, and very tight, extremely complicated plots. It’s too bad that the movies ignored them.

The changes that they made in The Bourne Identity, such as the different items in Bourne’s safe deposit box, were good. However, killing off Alex Conklin (who becomes Bourne’s best friend in the later books) was stupid. The major change in Bourne’s real identity and the nature of his original mission (which really comes to play in the 3rd movie) really bugged me. And, killing off Marie in the 2nd movie was, in my opinion, a major mistake.

I had heard from a number of people that The Bourne Ultimatum, the 3rd move, was the best of them all. However, I was very disappointed in that it didn’t really have a new plot… it was just a continuation of the same un-plot. And, what they revealed about Bourne’s past, as I mentioned, was a 180 from his character in the book. I just didn’t think it was good.

A 4th Bourne movie could now at least borrow parts of the plots of the original books, since they haven’t been used yet. Or, they could use a plot (or at least a title) from one of the 2 (soon to be 3) Bourne novels written by Eric Van Lustbader, which as books go, are pretty lousy.  Lustbader is a hack, who took a decent character, and stripped him of everything that made him interesting. First, he didn’t know how to deal with Marie (Bourne’s wife in the 3 original books) so he ignored her in one book, while he killed off 2 other main characters that he didn’t know how to deal with. Then, he simply kills off Marie. Overall, everyting that made Jason Bourne a good, complicated character is gone. They are a couple of the more underwhelming action novels I’ve read, and I will resist the temptation to read the next one when it comes out.

So, we’ll see what is next for Jason Bourne. Maybe he’ll find out that Marie isn’t dead after all. Or, perhaps he’ll finally find the Jackal. Let’s hope he at least finds a plot. That would be a really nice surprise.



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