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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 William Goss

"Spies Like U.S."
5 stars

A more refined game of hide-and-seek than that of its predecessors, 'The Bourne Ultimatum' offers up the kind of globe-trotting cat-and-mouse thrills that feel too good to be true, especially in a summer that’s been anything but.

Taking place six weeks after The Bourne Supremacy – that is, before it terrifically subverts that film’s studio-mandated Stateside coda – Jason Bourne (Matt Damon) is still after those who made him an assassin and subsequently bumped off his girlfriend. As such, he heads after Guardian reporter Simon Ross (Paddy Considine, impressively vulnerable for a change), whose series of articles concerning Bourne know too much to have been written without the benefit of some high-level source, who might in turn bring Bourne one step closer to the answers he still seeks. Meanwhile, in New York, CIA deputy director Noah Vosen (David Strathairn) finds himself enlisting the help of Pamela Landy (Joan Allen) to bring in Bourne and end matters once and for all.

Director Paul Greengrass (Supremacy, last year’s United 93) seems to rein in the more distracting tendencies of returning director of photography Oliver Wood and editor Christopher Rouse in creating a breakneck world where a single spoken word can spook the spooks across the pond, a moment’s hesitation can either expose your position or save your life, and where a conscience – or lack thereof – bears serious consequence. From train station evasion tactics to claustrophobic brawls to bumper-bashing car chases, all handled practically, Greengrass has shown perhaps his greatest dexterity yet at putting an audience in the midst of some very real – and very exciting – action sequences, enough to make Ultimatum work as well as a stand-alone action film as it does as a seriously satisfying series capper. (Of course, it also doesn’t hurt that John Powell’s latest score tops off already rim-splashing urgency levels.)

There is a comfort to be taken in the fact that the Bourne films, based on the novels of Robert Ludlum, are indeed a series instead of some endless spy-centric franchise. Damon has continued to underplay his amnesiac assassin to increasingly commendable effect, but more than that, his story has been one that concerns a government perpetually covering its ass, and it’s this aspect that garners the most attention and even the most humor in the series. The Ross subplot is simply one occasion on which the price of one man being intimidated by authority is demonstrated; on the flip side, Vosen and his keyboard jockeys fear just as much the prospect of a single man taking them to task for their erred ways, and the humor develops from Bourne’s chronic ability to humiliate them in the process. While more escapist espionage fare offers the allure of girls, gadgets, and guns, the Bourne films provide far more satisfaction by channeling the undeniably sketchy political and technological climate of this day and age and allowing one angry American to right all of the wrongs, on our behalf and by his own visceral means. Damon’s already had Courage Under Fire; this is arguably courage after it, and the phrase “Look at what they make you give” – repeated from Identity – bears even greater weight in the here and now.

For all of its high-tech immediacy, 'Ultimatum' still evokes the likes of Friedkin and Frankenheimer at their paranoid peaks and makes for thrills likely to go undated henceforth. As well wrapped-up as this series is – and boy, is it – I still wouldn’t want to refuse the prospect of more Jason Bourne, even if he’s unlikely to ever top himself. In the words of Moby, whose “Extreme Ways” has accompanied the end credits of each installment: I would stand in line for this. There’s always room in life for this.

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originally posted: 08/13/07 13:43:35
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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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