Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Maths Teacher Goes to the Movies: The Bourne Ultimatum

Well, in a summer of "threequels", finally a movie that does what it says on the tin. No more than that, mind you.

How's the movie?
Pretty exciting stuff - certainly never a dull moment. Lots of gripping set pieces, all filmed in shaky Steadicam (that's not-at-all-steady Steadicam, then), with fast editing in all the fight and chase scenes. Basically you have no real idea what's happening in these moments, but it sure is fun to watch. There's a visceral confrontation between Bourne and a hitman that'll leave you gasping for air. When the movie slows down enough to start to wonder about delivering a plot, it's maybe no surprise that it opts to rerun that of the second Bourne movie. But who cares? I mean, can you remember the plot for any of these, beyond the basic amnesia thing?

In keeping with the Hollywood belief that hi-tec needs many decimal places to sound cool, I'll give the movie 7.00000000001 out of ten.

To be critical I would say that the movie could do with more warmth, in terms of human relations. Julia Stiles pops up again and does her best, but a brief hint of a romantic past goes unexplored and before too long she's off dying her hair in order to vanish from the baddies (meanwhile Matt Damon continues to look like Matt Damon, complete with Action Man haircut, yet the authorities never ever recognise him until he bursts in, guns ablaze) and the movie moves on apace to the next loud moment.

How's the maths?
Not too much on the go, though lots of hi-tec stuff kicks around and I suppose there's all manner of projectile motion going on, what with the guns and stuff.

Can I teach with it?
Well, morally, would you want to do an exercise on bullet trajectory with a class? Alternatively, maybe a brief probability study, with null hypothesis "the bad guys can't shoot for toffee" tested at varying degrees of significance.

No comments: