17
Aug
07

The Bourne Ultimatum Reviewed

Bourne UltimatumGosh, I’m still in a little shock. This summer’s blockbusters, or the ones I’ve seen, have all very much followed a pattern, of being mildly entertaining while not actually delivering on their promise. It’s not like that’s amazing, but the contrast is dramatically enhanced when one comes along that does, and do so in such an in-your-face way. The Bourne Ultimatum delivers on some many levels that it shouldn’t be compared with the Hollywood vehicles it’s competing or even the films that preceded it.
Interestingly, Paul Greengrass directed Bourne Supremac, which I enjoyed but isn’t remotely like this one. Yes it has many of the same characters, but Greengrass has unleashed some sort of directing demon with himself here. For starters he’s had the audacity to make the entire film, for it’s 111minute running time, a chase. Like Jason Bourne, the chase is unforgiving, unrelenting and utterly gripping. From the previous outings we’ve had hints at know how good Bourne is, but in this one we get to see him at his most clinical, tactical and incisive. In many ways it was entirely reminiscent of Ian Flemming’s conceptual James Bond; a person at the peak of mental and physical fitness, able to use the clarity of thought and purpose to achieve almost super-human tasks. Where the Bond franchise left this aspect begin, in Bourne it’s what grounds the movies in a type of hyper-reality where any person is just a split second away from death or serious injury in his presence.
Bourne’s quest, to discover his real identity, is ironically progressed by the same forces that so wish to keep this secret. The more they try to take him down, and the people around him, the more they propel him onwards. I’m not going to spoil the plot for you, and where it ultimately takes us, and him. But the end of a film completes a perfect circle that started with Jason Bourne falling shot from Wombosi’s boat at the start of Bourne Identity.
But along the way we’re blessed with some set sequences of breaktaking action, tension and drama. The reality as presented of a fluid battlefield of intelligence may be nothing like the real thing, but it seems frighteningly real. ‘Assets’ are called into use, positioned chess like, and then ‘activated’. We get to see through Bourne’s eyes the threats around us, and how best to deal with them. Each door or window is a possible escape route, object a projectile, vehicle a means of pursuit or lethal weapon. The movie takes us inside the Jason Bourne mindset and manacle’s us their for the entire running time.
And, in the end I was left desperately wanting more, which is exactly the way it should be. After this episode I can see the studio’s not wanting to let this franchise die, but they’ve now used up the Ludlum source material and entire motivation for Bourne to go on. Their are two other Bourne books by another writer, but the danger is that they’ll carry on until they mess it up. I’d rather they stopped now, while they’re significantly ahead, than produce another inferior chapter.
If you only get to see one movie this year, make it The Bourne Ultimatum.

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1 Response to “The Bourne Ultimatum Reviewed”


  1. August 18, 2007 at 7:58 pm

    Great review look forward to seeing the film soon. Keep up the good work.
    Dean


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