Kaus asks a couple of provocative questions:
His Pet Gloat: I wish I could say Bill O'Reilly was wrong about Paul Greengrass' Bourne Ultimatum being an anti-American film but I saw it last weekend and O'Reilly's right. It's not just that the script plays on opposition to Bush anti-terror tactics--waterboarding, etc. Or that in a moment of calm hero Matt Damon utters maybe 15 of the 40 words he speaks in the film and explains that he's simply trying to apologize for ... well, the CIA's sins, or maybe America's. Just because you oppose waterboarding and believe the U.S. has a lot to apologize for doesn't make you anti-American. The problem is the film is unredeemed by any sense that America or the American government ever stands for or does anything that is right.
It is a big hit overseas. ...
The film also made me feel guilty, because I watched Greengrass' United 93 and left convinced it was a searing indictment of Bush's behavior in hours after 9/11. (Air controllers spend much of the film trying to locate the AWOL President they can obtain an order to shoot down the hijacked jet.) I didn't know anything about Greengrass, and the film looked like it had been based on actual records by a meticulously dispassionate observer. But Greengrass' Bourne film undermines his credibility and retrospectively dissolves United 93's anti-Bush power. I don't trust anything the man makes. ... P.S.: Has Big Hollywood made a single non-anti-US post-9/11 film I missed? I can't remember one (aside from Team America: World Police, which was a cartoon).. ... And don't say World Trade Center. That passed up several potentially epic patriotic moments (e.g. the Dave Karnes story) in favor of a tribute to the fraternity of New York transit cops. ... Next up: In the Valley of Elah, a well-made version of the Scott Beauchamp Story. ... Is it the international market that makes our studios behave this way? I sense an underserved domestic niche .
By Jove, i think he hit on something important. See: