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The Bourne Ultimatum August 4, 2007

Posted by Sai in English, Movies, Reviews.

A thoroughly satisfying trilogy! Paul Greengrass (United 93) who took over from Doug Liman (Mr. & Mrs. Smith) for the second part of the series is back at the helm and he creates an exhilarating film that moves at a searing pace and never lets up the intensity.

A journalist with some insider information from the CIA publishes a report on Bourne and a project called Blackbriar which is said to be an upgrade of Treadstone. Bourne, who is still looking for his true identity, reaches the journalist with a hope to find his true identity and the reasons for him being an assassin. Predictably, he crosses the path of the CIA once again and they want him dead as usual to cover their misdeeds. Bourne picks up one clue after another as he chases his goal, travelling across continents while CIA “assets” are hot on his trail.

Matt Damon is splendid once again as he unbelievably makes Bourne a believable action hero. He was a revelation in the first movie and he maintains the dedication and quality of work. He also deserves special mention for some really good work in the action sequences and without him one could have easily been bored by the really long sequences one after another. This film is well cast and the supporting cast including Joan Allen as Pamela Landy and David Strathairn as Noah Vosen do a very good job.

I love this series. There are so many things that are great with all three movies and unlike other trilogies, the movies remain consistent except for some stylistic upgrades. The atmosphere is captured exceptionally and the viewing pleasure is increased thanks to the direction, editing (Christopher Rouse this time), camera work (Oliver Wood) and score (John Powell) in all three films. Paul Greengrass once again brings the jerky camera movements intended to create an uneasiness among the viewers while enhancing the hand-to-hand combat and foot chase sequences. I know that some viewers are put off by the camera work but I really liked it after the slight initial discomfort while watching it first in The Bourne Supremacy.

Writers Tony Gilroy (who has been involved with all films in the series), Scott Burns and George Nolfi do a nice job in piecing together the screenplay that answers most of the questions from the previous films while still leaving some unresolved issues (with respect to Bourne and Nicky Parsons in particular). However, this film is really a director’s picture with the action being the film rather than the screenplay. The film is essentially a collection of chases, stunts and twists with a few characters and a bit of story thrown in.

I thought Greengrass with the help of the stunt coordinator (Dan Bradley) and his team did a very good job of using the different locations in both his films in the series by incorporating some aspects unique to that location in the action and chase sequences, thereby making them an integral part of those sequences. The stunt choreographers deserve a standing ovation for some of the best work in recent times. This is superb action that is well-planned and expertly executed. Though the film has its share of action sequences involving vehicles, the combat and foot chase sequences are unrivaled. Greengrass helps us realise that you don’t need spectacular special effects to create a superlative visual impact.

Despite the implausibility rising a little bit further (one could hardly care considering the momentum with which this one moves), this hard-to-beat action thriller is arguably the best movie of the series and definitely among the top three films I’ve seen this summer. Don’t miss it!


1. Shujath - November 3, 2007

This movie rocks! It’s the best action thriller I’ve seen in years. I don’t remember the last time when I was almost on the “edge of my seat” when watching a movie.

I’ve also experienced first hand criticism about the camera work while watching the film. There were actually a few people in the theatre who were cursing about the faulty projecting system without the slightest hint that it was shot that way.

This is a must-watch but be sure to watch atleast the first part (The Bourne Identity) before you see this….just in case if you haven’t seen the previous two in the series.

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