From The Archives – The Bourne Ultimatum
After watching the new trailer for The Bourne Legacy yesterday, I randomly remembered the first ever film review I posted online. For no particular reason, I thought I would add it here too. Four and a half years ago; barely feels like half that. Also, my closing statement seems oddly prescient, if possibly misguided…
Originally published (hah!) on my Myspace blog, 17 August 2007
What was your name again?
I went to the movies today. Saw The Bourne Ultimatum. Lemme tell you, it’s a damn good flick. If you liked Identity and Supremacy you are really going to enjoy this one. It builds on the story so far in really clever ways, with a few good twists thrown in for good measure. One in particular about thirty minutes in was a total “I can’t believe they just did that” moment which took me completely by surprise and judging by the stunned silence in the cinema, I wasn’t the only one. No spoilers here though. If you want to know, go see it.
The cast was faultless throughout, both the established characters (Damon, the amazing Joan Allen and Julia Stiles’ expanded role as Nicki) and the new arrivals, in particular David Straithairn (Good Night, and Good Luck) as Brian Cox’s nominal replacement in the CIA bad guy role and Paddy Considine (who kicked ass in Dead Man’s Shoes) as a typically nosy reporter on Bourne’s trail.
The story kicks off running with a scene continuing on from Bourne’s Moscow car chase from the previous installment, before a six week leap during which Guardian reporter Simon Ross (Considine) has got his teeth into the story of Bourne and, by extension, Treadstone and Blackbriar, complete with a highly placed source. This inevitably brings down a shitstorm from Langley and forces Bourne once again into action, leaving a trail of bodies and answers from London to Madrid, to Tangier where Bourne has an insane rooftop chase followed by a brutal fight with another assassin in a random apartment, and on to New York. One clever moment in the story sees Supremacy‘s denouement, Joan Allen’s revelation of Jason’s real name, revisited as a key plot point in the extended Manhatten finale.
As with his earlier contribution, returning director Paul Greengrass’ documentary background lends the many action scenes both an intense immediacy and a believability little seen in Hollywood today.
The only drawback I can see in this film is the way everything is tied up at the end, albeit in an entirely satisfying way. Personally I can’t see anywhere else for this character to go, although I hope someone else can. Provided they can maintain both the quality and Damon’s involvement, further Bourne stories will be something worth waiting for. I believe it would be a bad decision to go down the James Bond road and change actor every few films. As the posters say, Matt Damon is Jason Bourne.