johnlink ranks THE BOURNE ULTIMATUM (2007)

So I messed this up a little bit. I wanted to revisit the BOURNE movies in anticipation of the fourth film. Only, I watched them all in one week ending on July 4th, and the next film doesn’t hit theaters until August. Whoops. Oh well. Glad I came back to these movies. This is a solid trilogy.

I watched THE BOURNE ULTIMATUM (2007) on7.4.12. It was my second viewing of the film, and my first since it was released theatrically.

In some ways, this third film is the height of the series. Paul Greengrass is much more comfortable shooting action here than he was during his first go around. The fights are a little easier on the eyes, though the handheld camera still is the method of choice for capturing the choreography.  The edits seem to have slowed slightly, making it easier to follow the action.

This movie starts ten minutes after the end of BOURNE SUPREMACY (though the final, tacked on scene from number two doesn’t happen until three quarters of the way through ULTIMATUM). Bourne is limping and trying to get out of Moscow. Not surprisingly, he survives and escapes. But he still wants answers. The action never slows as Bourne hops the globe, ending up back in New York City for the climax.

The action and suspense are top notch. Ironically, Greengrass went into the second film trying to keep it grounded in reality. He is a little less concerned about doing this in ULTIMATUM. Air bags don’t deploy, characters are able to maneuver streets and building tops they have never seen as though they have lived their entire lives there, Bourne is able to know everything up to and including from which angle an agent tailing someone is looking at their subject. Some of this can easily be explained away by the advanced espionage training Bourne received in Treadstone, but some of it requires the biggest suspension of disbelief the series asks us to make throughout the trilogy.

In that sense, BOURNE ULTIMATUM sacrifices some of its filmic elements for the advancement of the joy we get in seeing it all play out. It’s a calculated move, and one which is effective. This does not mean that Greengrass doesn’t shoot the hell out of this movie; he does a great job. I love his establishing shots of every major city we see. I love the way he follows the action, attempting to make the camera a character trying to keep up rather than an omniscient overlord.

The trilogy wraps up in a satisfactory way. The final moments echo the opening of the first film, with Matt Damon being Bourne again in water. Additionally, the last lines Bourne speaks in the film mach very closely to the last lines Clive Owen spoke as a would-be assassin in the first film. The cyclical nature helps to sell the point that things are just beginning for the character, even if this particular trilogy is wrapping up.

The fourth film, coming next month, occurs at roughly the same time as BOURNE ULTIMATUM, though it will not feature Matt Damon. Rumors are starting to trickle out that if LEGACY does well, then Matt Damon would return for a fifth film to work alongside Jeremy Renner. I, for one, would be thrilled to see that happen. Some characters have staying power, have the ability to build their cache over time rather than fading into inanity. I can see Bourne being the former. As long as this team keeps wanting to make these films, I would come out for them. The BOURNE films are consistantly at the top of the action-thriller genre every time they come out. I just hope THE BOURNE LEGACY can keep that, ahem, legacy going.



More so than in any of the previous films, the score is rousing and successful. The music really helps drive this movie.



The BOURNE scores in order




Now that is some consistency from a trilogy!

~ by johnlink00 on July 5, 2012.

One Response to “johnlink ranks THE BOURNE ULTIMATUM (2007)”

  1. I had difficulty with this one. My mind kept saying to me “Come on, he STILL doesn’t remember his past? They couldn’t come up with anything else but the same tired gimmick again?”

    Other than that, I agree it’s fairly solid, though I don’t think I’d watch it again.

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