Friday, 25 September 2020
The Bourne Ultimatum
Written by Sandra Fitzpatrick   
Sunday, 05 August 2007 00:00
The Bourne Ultimatum is the third installment of the series, and due to it’s massive success I doubt it will be the last. This is unfortunate, since the resulting package to date is three neat little movies that satisfy thrill seekers and thinkers alike. One can’t help but expect any further sequels will become redundant and degrade in quality if the series were to continue for the sake of a quick buck. But for now let’s stick with the present and a film that won’t disappoint fans of the previous two.

From the beginning in The Bourne Identity Jason Bourne (Matt Damon) is on a mission to discover who he is and why he inexplicably possesses the wickedest combat skills known to man. Let’s face facts; Matt Damon is a pretty unassuming looking guy. But that is a big reason why this character works so well. I can’t profess to having been much of a fan of Damon’s earlier in his career. Personally I thought Good Will Hunting was annoying, but apparently that’s just me. However several years ago Damon won me over with his performance in The Talented Mr. Ripley. His performance in that was great, subtle and disturbing and turned me into a fan. He gets to use many of those same nuances in the Bourne movies.

With The Bourne Ultimatum, Jason is no longer running from the federal agency that spawned him. Instead he now after them on a mission to avenge his girlfriend’s death and unravel the clues to his past – a past that he is on the verge of remembering. His journey will take him to several different locales, all beautifully captured on film. Of course the CIA blindly consider him a threat although they don’t really know what his motives are. It seems safe to say they want to kill now and ask questions later. They continuously send various rogue agents and hit men to try to take him out but his skills seem no match for them as he evades or kills to survive.

The choreographing is spectacular and not only in the combat sequences. One particular scene springs to mind, in which Bourne attempts to guide a marked man to safety through London’s Waterloo Station via cell phone. He has to keep himself undetected, all the while helping this man evade the men out to kill him. It’s a great scene that kept me on the edge of my seat and was very well directed. The trouble is that all this nice choreography gets you nowhere if the camera is too close to the action. I find this a problem in a lot of action movies lately (ie. Batman Begins). I understand the effect is meant to put you in the middle of the action, but the jerkiness gets tiresome.

Other points are deducted for the length, which at 111 minutes technically isn’t that long. It felt long to me because the story plays out in the first and last 20 minutes, leaving the rest of the time filled up with chases and fights etc. Even though they are good chases and fights I think the movie would have benefited from being 10 minutes shorter.

A little info for you book to movie purists out there: I haven’t read the books, so I don’t know the difference, but I am told the story in this adaptation is nothing like the novel. So if you like the movies but want to know the real story it might be worth picking up a copy of the books by Robert Ludlum.

The Bourne Ultimatum is an action movie that doesn’t disappoint, but I don’t think I’m as sold on it as the masses. With points added for solid acting and script, but deducted for length and jerkiness I give it 7 out of 10 stars.