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Overall Rating

Worth A Look: 34.12%
Average: 2.35%
Pretty Bad: 0%
Total Crap: 2.35%

7 reviews, 43 user ratings

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Bourne Ultimatum, The
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by Jason Whyte

"He's Bourne, and he can't stop being him."
5 stars

Here is one of the year's smartest, energetic films, a ball of fire into a year of action and adventure films that has given us promises without delivering the goods. In a year where The Transformers spins everything into a blender and gives us a smattering of computer graphics and when John McClane can't even utter an F-Bomb in a Die Hard sequel where he's supposed to Yippie Ki Yay, Motherfucker, it's simply wonderful to see a movie as synthetic, appropriately stylized and downright FUN as The Bourne Ultimatium. This is every bit as fresh and exciting as The Bourne Identity and then some.

What makes these films so exciting is that we identify with the character of Jason Bourne, a man who is trying to find himself. He's in an uphill struggle to find identity in his life. In the first film, he lost his memory and was amazed in how his primal instincts would kick in when even he didn't realize it. His slow realization of the Treadstone project with the Central Intelligence Agency led him to the people responsible for his brainwashing and eventual training as a "$30 million dollar killing machine."

In The Bourne Supremacy, he was still battling with his past and the Treadstone project, and several fleeting images of his training were coming back to haunt him. He became more aware of who he is and his surroundings, all the while battling the CIA, the Kremlin and even Eomer from "The Two Towers" chasing him down a freeway tunnel in Moscow.

In Ultimatium, Bourne is finally putting all the pieces together. Clues are starting to become known about how he became who he is now. In the end of the last film, he was given the name David Webb, and in the first chapter of the film he gets classified information from a reporter (Paddy Considine from My Summer of Love, who even in a small part is wonderful.) Clues lead him from Paris to England and even back to Nikki (Julia Stiles), who has had a small part in Bourne's life previously and is more of a main player in the story here.

Bourne is "on the run", but if you watch him carefully you'll see him more walking fast than lifting his feet up and down. He's always on the move, always breaking down the problem and solving it quickly. How he's able to move around surveillance, agents and various bad guys unharmed is part of his training. Credit must also be given to Matt Damon, who flawlessly makes us believe in this character and his physical ability. When Bourne gets in a car crash late in the film, some audience members at my screening scoffed that "Well of COURSE he's okay." I wanted to shout out "Well of course he's okay...he's Jason Bourne. He's built to survive that crash you silly beans!"

Ultimatium is what Roger Ebert would call a "Bruised Forearm" movie, where you're grabbing the arm of the person who is sitting next to you. The film's pace never lets up, giving us nearly two hours of a pure adrenaline rush. But in this particular case, it makes deep and resonating sense, and even though there is so much globe-hopping in the film that you wonder when these characters sleep, it is all told clearly and faithfully by director Paul Greengrass.

In what is quite possibly one of the best action sequences I have EVER seen, we follow Jason, Nikki and an assailant through the streets, alleyways, staircases and rooftops of Morocco. What's amazing about this sequence is how Greengrass and editor Christopher Rouse are able to carefully cut and blend these three elements in such a way that we're completely in control and keeping in touch with all the perspectives of the hunter, the hunted and the guy you better not mess with.

I was so energized and so "there" with the film that I kept bumping the arm of the gentlemen sitting next to me at a screening of the film, and he did just the same. I think the key is in Greengrass' and cinematographer Oliver Wood's terrific use of hand held photography; while many people have complained about the "shaky cam" and the unsteadiness of the image, I think it's absolutely essential to the story. When Bourne is running, so should we.

Is "The Bourne Ultimatum" the best of the Bourne series? Possibly. There are elements of this film that I admired the most, which is the same way I feel about "The Bourne Identity". I still recall seeing that film in 2002 and breathing a sigh of relief at the film's end credits, happy to discover that we're still getting well-made espionage thrillers in a sea of remakes and sequels. That a sequel in 2007 that can perform with just as much high octane energy and adrenaline is a delight to behold.

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originally posted: 08/23/07 03:47:31
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User Comments

2/08/20 Pamela Teelucksingh One of the greatest action movies of all time 5 stars
12/29/17 morris campbell snappy & exciting 4 stars
7/03/11 slayer best action movie in decades 5 stars
6/26/11 con air outstanding 5 stars
6/19/11 terror leigh james bond wishes it could be as great as this 5 stars
5/11/11 the rock one of the best spy movies ever 5 stars
2/10/09 Todddi edge-of your seat intelligent thriller 5 stars
1/13/09 Anonymous. definitely the best in the trilogy! :] 4 stars
10/28/08 blah blah amazing glad to heat they are gonna make another one 5 stars
5/07/08 Sarbu Rada A really awesome movie. I hope there's more Bourne in the coming years. 5 stars
3/05/08 dude great action 5 stars
3/03/08 R.W. Welch Another snazzy entry, tho the series begins to show signs of wear. 4 stars
2/12/08 pixie dust solid spy chase flick with too much shaky cam but fine action 4 stars
2/09/08 mike Insane high speed action. Excellent movie! 5 stars
2/05/08 Indrid Cold Am I the only one who finds these Bourne movies incredibly repetitive and shallow? 3 stars
1/26/08 Pamela White fast paced and enthralling great plot and action 5 stars
1/14/08 Anthony Feor Probably the best of the three 5 stars
12/19/07 hrow I felt greatseeing it, but depressed afterwards 4 stars
12/13/07 davidbobo20 Awesome movie! If you like first two movies, this is a must see! 5 stars
12/12/07 actioin movie fan thrilling pursuit, very good story and action good third part but camera a bit too shaky 5 stars
10/14/07 chris. good ending to a great trilogy 4 stars
10/02/07 Rick absolutely amazing, so much action, and there's also a story, unlike so many action movies 5 stars
9/09/07 Russ As good as the rest 5 stars
9/08/07 HW what a great action flic cant wait to see it the third time and then all three together. 5 stars
9/07/07 aaaetc Fast-moving, plot is Bourne trying to discover his origins, shaky camera is distracting. 4 stars
9/06/07 mr. mike non-stop thrills , with some unconvincing detours. Straitharn is outstanding and steals it. 4 stars
9/03/07 Stephen No plot, shaky camera equals very bad movie that gives headaches 1 stars
8/31/07 bbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbb best of the three 5 stars
8/20/07 AJ It was fairly entertaining, but it's just one big action scene--almost no plot or dialogue 3 stars
8/20/07 Steve Action All the way Through; puts the highest rated movie to shame. 5 stars
8/19/07 MP Bartley Doesn't really answer anything, but it just pulverises you into submission - and it's great 4 stars
8/19/07 Monday Morning Better than Bond & MI combined. 5 stars
8/18/07 David Graham Best of the trilogy, & the best thriller ever made, a Bourne thrill. 5 stars
8/16/07 Nick Wheres the plot, just a bunch of meaningless 'action', Dumb movie 1 stars
8/14/07 AJ Muller Phenomenal; how is it that these flicks (which were great to start with) just get better? 5 stars
8/14/07 damalc very good but, somehow, i'm just not blown away, like a lot of people are by this series 4 stars
8/12/07 KingNeutron Totally awesome - a fun ride. 5 stars
8/07/07 Captain Highcrime The come-uppance conclusion will have you remarking "Not in George Bush's America." LOL 5 stars
8/07/07 Quigley Loved every second of it. Easily the most satisfying three-quel released this year 5 stars
8/05/07 CrazyJayy Easy to follow, mindless,suspenseful, entertaining eye-coaster. 5 stars
8/05/07 Ole Man Bourbon Fun, but kinda empty. Interesting how few lines Damon actually has. 4 stars
8/04/07 Todd Kick ass movie, great way to end the trilogy. Amazing action and acting. 5 stars
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  03-Aug-2007 (PG-13)
  DVD: 11-Dec-2007



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