Movie Review for The Bourne Ultimatum (2007)

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Review #493 of 365
Movie Review of The Bourne Ultimatum (2007) [PG-13] 111 minutes
WIP™ Scale: $13.00
Where Viewed: United Artists Denver Pavilions Stadium 15, Denver, CO
When 1st Seen: 2 August 2007
Time: 11:59 pm
Film's Official WebsiteFilm's Trailer
DVD Release Date: 27 November 2008 (click date to purchase or pre-order)

Soundtrack: Download now from John Powell - The Bourne Ultimatum - or - order the CD below

Directed by: Paul Greengrass (United 93)
Screenplay by: Tony Gilroy (The Bourne Supremacy) • Scott Z. Burns (The Half Life of Timofey Berezin) • George Nolfi (The Sentinel) based on the novel by Robert Ludlum

Featured Cast (Where You Might Remember Him/Her From):
Matt Damon (Ocean's Thirteen) • Julia Stiles (Edmond) • David Strathairn (Fracture) • Scott Glenn (Freedom Writers) • Paddy Considine (Hot Fuzz) • Edgar Ramirez (Elipsis) • Albert Finney (Amazing Grace) • Joan Allen (The Upside of Anger) • Tom Gallop ("Will and Grace") • Corey Johnson (United 93) • Daniel Brühl (Two Days in Paris) • Joey Ansah (Underground) • Colin Stinton (Proof) • Dan Fredenburgh (Love Actually)

Click for 'Review Lite' [a 150-word or less review of this film]
Click here to read the spoiler points.
Well, the midnight crowd for The Bourne Ultimatum was not as lively as the crowd for Harry Potter, however, there were loads of people, far more than would have been expected. Turns out, Jason Bourne has quite a following. One of the problems with these sequels that are so far apart chronologically is that it's easy to forget what was going on when the last one left off. The writing team does a pretty good job of reminding the viewers of some points, but here's a cool idea…how about a free 15 minute recap tacked on to the beginning?

"… non-stop serial action with cliffhangers galore… and a perfect way to start of the final month of this action-packed summer film season."
That could work. In any case, there's not a moment wasted, as the story leaps into overdrive in one of three major wrangle-tangle sections where Jason Bourne (Matt Damon back for his third installment) is being chased all over the world. This time he goes everywhere from London to Madrid to Tangiers to Manhattan. The story, based on Robert Ludlum's novel, concerns two objectives: (a) get

Bourne home and finally to the bottom of who he really is, and (b) expose a secret government CIA operation codenamed Blackbriar, that, based on recent revelations during the ongoing U.S.A. Senate investigations into the Attorney General Albert Gonzalez's office, seem far less like fiction and more like Ludlum prophesy. But, you'll have to look at the spoiler points for more on that. So, things get rolling in London when Jason starts to get to the bottom of a series of names. A reporter for the London paper, The Guardian seems to have some useful information as he's been writing about Jason Bourne in the paper. Little does Bourne realize, though, that the reporter has inadvertently hit upon both the people and the operation that created him. A thrilling sequence has Bourne doing everything he can to get everything the report knows, unfortunately, the reporter used the key term "blackbriar" on his cell phone and the massive computer listening system run by the covert CIA anti-terrorism operation in a tower in New York City and overseen by Noah Vosen (David Strathairn) caught the words and has launched a full scale operation to find the reporter and his source. As this goes on, they discover that Jason Bourne is the man pulling the reporter's strings and protecting him from their ordered hit, causing them to realize they can get two birds with one stone if only they could get the inside track on Bourne. Hence, they call in Pamela Landy (Joan Allen) who's been trying to bring Bourne in for two movies now. No one understands how he thinks better than she does, and within moments of being brought to the team accomplishes more in figuring out what Bourne may be up to than the rest of Vosen's team put together. Moreover, the director, Ezra Kramer, has plans to back-door Landy and use her as the 'fall guy' if operations of the program become public.

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The women of The Bourne Ultimatum: Will they prove to be friends or foes?
[Julia Stiles as Nicky Parsons and Joan Allen as Pamela Landy]

Julia Stiles returns again as Nicky Parsons to be a pseudo love interest for Jason Bourne. There is plenty of chemistry between them despite his cold, steely eyes and complete lack of time for anything but getting to the bottom of his personal mystery. The cast is all class, with Matt Damon really getting full on into both the action and psychology of Jason Bourne. He handles the action sequences like he's been training for them all his life. Meanwhile, though it is David Strathairn as the assistant director for the CIA who has sold his conscience for an obviously over-zealous and misguided approach to fighting an unnamed enemy in his war on terror, that stands out in some ways above the rest. While he's not the center of the story or the attention, current events palpably place him at the epicenter of intrigue as USAers must, themselves, wrestle with sacrificing freedom and protection guaranteed under the most liberal and venerable constitution in the history of the world for a likely false sense of security brought about by promises from a government that has but a single, arrogant mind in how to deal with global problems: might is right. As the film resonates will with the current political climate, it also provides non-stop serial action with cliffhangers galore. Be prepared to be adrenalin deficient by the end after the final, climatic action sequence and subsequent encounter between Bourne and the man who made him.

The one complaint that comes to mind was that it seemed like the cameraman from The Bourne Identity was back for a few of the action sequences. The jostling of the camera apparently used to artistically suggest that you are riding on Jason Bourne's shoulder, offers those with weaker stomachs a one-way ticket to the restroom for relief. This technique, when used in a limited way, can be effective, but when compared to the effect, for example, of the camera techniques used in Mission: Impossible III during similar action chase sequences do not favorably compare from the seat of this viewer. Still, director, Paul Greengrass, has delivered, again, another exciting, heart-pounding Jason Bourne film and a perfect way to start of the final month of this action-packed summer film season and definitely the best of the three films.

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Cast Members
Matt DamonJulia StilesDavid Strathairn
Scott GlennPaddy ConsidineEdgar Ramirez
Albert FinneyJoan AllenTom Gallop
Corey JohnsonDan FredenburghJoey Ansah
Paul Greengrass
Tony GilroyScott Z. BurnsGeorge Nolfi
CD Soundtrack
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Review-lite The Bourne Ultimatum (2007) [max of 150 words]
With steely cold eyes and a singular focus, Jason Bourne (Matt Damon) is finally going home. Having found the final pieces of the puzzle he needed in travels London to Madrid to Tangiers, and the assistance of agent Nicky Parsons (Julia Stiles), he now commands sufficient memory to return to Manhattan and the source of his creation. With action-packed, heart pounding, exquisitely choreographed fight and chase sequences, Paul Greengrass delivers big on this third installment in the Bourne franchise—definitely the best of the three films.

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