The Bourne Ultimatum (2007)

Totally wrote this review a few years back, feel the same way about it, the rating slipped down half a point.  Still an amazing movie.

Ever since the Jason Bourne franchise hit the big screens in 2002 with The Bourne Identity, I’ve had a love/hate relationship with it. I enjoyed Identity and its 2004 follow-up The Bourne Supremacy well-enough, but I never allowed myself to truly love them because I had read the Robert Ludlum books upon which the movies are “based” before seeing the movies. Having just seen The Bourne Ultimatum, I have finally been able to completely divorce the books from the movies. Sure, there’s a few story elements and characters that they share with one another, but in the end the adventures the movie version of Jason Bourne (Matt Damon) gets into are far more entertaining than the printed word is able to convey to me.

Paul Greengrass returns to helm his second straight Bourne movie, and it picks up almost directly after Supremacy ended. Bourne is beginning to regain more memories and is finally determined enough to take down the people who made him what he is. Of course there’s still the matter of putting all the pieces together, and much of the movie is of the fact-finding, spy intrigue variety. The CIA is still focused on eliminating Bourne, and continue to pull out all the stops in every effort to bring him in. Not to mention crossing a few legal and moral lines to achieve their goal.

I must caution you about watching Ultimatum. After it’s all over, you’ll never see another action movie the same way. You will be insulted (if you’re not already) by cheesy explosions, cartoonish villains, and meathead leads that make contextual quips about the demise of their enemies. Ultimatum shows us that there is absolutely no reason why action flicks have to be dumb blow-’em-ups, that you can have a thriller-esque feel to an action movie and make it work. Then again, perhaps that’s not entirely true and the only reason it works is because of Greengrass’ direction, or the stunning handheld camerawork. Maybe it’s John Powell’s amazing score combining with measured and realistic fight scenes and intense car chases. Personally, I think it’s all those things combined with an amazing character, a realistic and powerful performance by Matt Damon, and a well-developed story.

Rarely do I watch a movie and immediately want to sit down and watch it again, or start counting down the days until it comes out on DVD/Blu-Ray. The Bourne Ultimatum is one of those rare movies for me, one that had me gripping my theatre seat as the action built up and the camera was right in there, feeling every shot. At the end of one helluva spectacular car chase, I noticed that I was actually catching my breath. Your enjoyment of the movie will be increased exponentially if you’ve seen the previous two Bourne movies, and you should do that anyways because now that I’ve freed them from my past snobby-book-adaptation opinion, I have to say that the Bourne Trilogy is truly one of the best movie franchises ever put together.

4.5 / 5

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About SkoochXC
Long-time blogger, Canadian, cine-snark-aphile, Tweeter and generally lonely hearted guy.

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