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I caught The Bourne Identity today. Good stuff. Really intense, nice pace. Has Matt Damon ever made a bad flick?

There was one thing that was out of place by its sheer cheeziness however. At the tail end of the car chase in Paris Bourne crosses paths with two guys who happen to be carrying a large sheet of plate glass around and, of course, he crashes through the glass.

Granted this version was more intense and less slapstick, but that gag is straight out of 70's Disney car chases. Back then, once the tires started squealing you knew you were in for several of the following:

- Two men in coveralls carrying a large window across the street. Usually they'd go through all sorts of gesticulations to narrowly avoid the first car only to have the second car crash through the window.

- Two men in coveralls on a scaffold over the street painting something. When the supports are taken out by the speeding autos, one guy will end up with a bucket of paint on his head and the other will be left hanging from whatever was being painted, his legs flailing wildly.

- Someone carrying around a large cake. So large that when the chase upends them, they'll wind up with most of their upper body lost in said cake.

- Two streetcars crossing paths in opposite directions and parting just in the nick of time to allow the first car to pass between them.

- A semi trailer with just enough clearance to peal off the top of a car in the chase, without pealing off the head of the car's driver and without slowing the car down.

- If an aircraft becomes involved in the chase it will have to fly through a barn, or in later years some sort of urban structure.

- Speaking of barns, somewhere along the way the cars may crash through a bunch of hay bales.

- The chase will end up with one car in a swimming pool, body of mud or manure, ocean, lake, hanging off the the edge of a drawbridge which started opening just as the chase was approaching, or having crashed halfway through a billboard and stuck there.

Well there's a lesson for us all. If you want to motivate people to get off their butts and get that large window or cake across the street, just start a car chase.


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