Sunday, August 05, 2007

The Bourne Ultimatum

I’ll make this review really simple; I had a lot of fun with this film and this series as a whole. This is almost the Man with no Name trilogy in Modern Times. When Bourne wants to get something done he doesn’t talk about it he does it. The previous films break down like this: Bourne Identity, We meet Jason Bourne in France where he has lost his memory due to amnesia and as the story goes he learns things about his past that just plain scare him. He is almost machine like as he takes down adversaries and takes apart their weapons in a matter of seconds. He discovers that he is an agent from the black op called Treadstone, and they want him dead for a kill he could not complete. He finds love with a German girl named Marie and they get away to the islands. The Bourne Supremacy takes up a few years after the first as Jason is haunted by his fragmented past. His life with Marie is then thrown into upheaval as he is targeted again by his former employer. They also tragically off his girlfriend, which turns out to be a big mistake. Bourne learns more about his past and about the deaths he has inflicted as an agent. He visits the daughter of a man and woman he murdered in Russia and confesses his sins. He returns to the U.S. with a mission to find out how it all began. With a little help from the inside and an honest C.I.A. agent Pam Landy, we learn that his real name is David Webb and for some reason they wanted us to know he's from Missouri.

Ultimatum starts with a bang as Bourne (Matt Damon) is injured running through the streets of Moscow trying to flee his pursuers. We quickly learn about a secret op called Black Briar that has been leaked to a British reporter regarding Treadstone and of course Jason Bourne. The new man in charge, Noah Vosen (David Strathairn), is as cold as Chris Cooper’s Conklin and as ruthless as Brian Cox’s Abbott. (They were the heavies in the previous films.) He also doesn’t appear to be as smart as either of his predecessors. Bourne finds himself back in the states trying to find out where he was first inducted into this fraternity of murder and lies. Pamela Landy (Joan Allen) and Nicky (Julia Stiles) return to give Bourne some assistance. There is also a great supporting role played by Albert Finney, who turns out to be a very pivotal piece in this jigsaw puzzle that is Jason Bourne.

This was a great end to a great trilogy. As I said before Matt Damon has really captured a piece of the western trilogy that Clint Eastwood started with Sergio Leone in the 60’s. You have a character that has resembled both good and bad and unlike those great westerns Bourne is actually looking for redemption. He evolves over the three films as he discovers who he is, what he can do and most importantly what he has done. The third film is about Bourne destroying his Identity as an agent and becoming the man he has forgotten, David Webb.

Paul Greengrass, who also directed Supremacy, has perfected his style with his gritty camera movements and non-CGI bang up action sequences. The car chase in downtown Manhattan is freaking awesome as well as Bourne’s rooftop chase in Tangiers. I will always be grateful to Bourne for forcing the aging James Bond franchise to re-invent itself from the silly to the hard nosed action films they deserve to be. This is a great action franchise and I will always be happy to see Jason Bourne kick ass on the big screen anytime he wants.

>Grade: 4 Buckets

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