Review: The Bourne Ultimatum

Jon Baeckstrom ('08)/ Eastside Entertainment Editor

bourne ultimatumThe Bourne Ultimatum is the kind of movie that redefines the term ‘action-packed.’ In the final episode of the Bourne trilogy, Matt Damon resumes the role of ex-CIA agent Jason Bourne and headlines a film that manages to be superior to the first two excellent parts of the series.

Ultimatum picks up right where The Bourne Supremacy left off, in Moscow, but within minutes the movie jumps from Paris to America and then to a thrilling action sequence in London.

The movie focuses on the amnesiac Bourne as he searches for answers to his past and identity, all while evading CIA agents led by Noah Vosen (David Straitharn).
Unlike the other two films, Bourne receives some assistance in Ultimatum, from rogue CIA agents Pamela Landy (Joan Allen) and Nicky Parsons (Julia Stiles).

Though the film moves at a dizzying speed, the action is always highly original and entertaining. These electrifying sequences range from a stealth battle in Madrid to a lengthy pursuit in Tangier to a bone-crunching car chase in the middle of New York City. A feeling of danger is omnipresent, even the non-action scenes have a risky, ominous tone which makes up for the often monotonous dialogue and gives more excitement to what might otherwise be rest breaks for the audience.

This non-stop movement doesn’t leave the movie without a soul, as Director Paul Greengrass (United 93, Bourne Supremacy) does an excellent job of showing Bourne as a deep, human character and not just an invincible super-spy.

Like in United 93, Greengrass uses shaky camera movements and close-ups on actors during the action sequences to successfully bring the audience into the scene and add a level of brutality to the combat.

Though none of the actors can expect Academy Awards for their performances, there were no performances that dragged the movie down. A few actors, notably Damon and Allen should be commended for managing to display any emotional depth in such a furiously-paced film.

Ultimatum is a fine ending to an outstanding series, as all of the loose ends are tied up without making it feel tired or cliché. Also, unlike many sequels, this movie leaves the audience wanting more films rather than wishing that the studios could’ve just let the franchise die.

It would not be a stretch to call Ultimatum the best movie of the summer, as it is certainly the best action movie in years. From the first exhilarating moments to the breathtaking final frames, The Bourne Ultimatum is a pure adrenaline shot and a roaring good time.

Final Rating: 4 out of 4 stars