The Bourne Ultimatum Review

Dir: Paul Greengrass
Starring: Matt Damon, David Strathairn, Joan Allen, Julia Stiles, Paddy Considine
Run. Time: 111mins

The final installment of the Bourne trilogy sees Damon’s Jason Bourne at last taking the fight to those responsible for his creation. Gathering information from several sources we follow Jason Bourne around the world and ultimately back home, to where it began, all the while pursued by those he is trying to find.

I feel I have to start this review by saying that I did not enjoy The Bourne Identity, an opinion that was at odds with most of those around me. I thought there was too much “hyper-reality” in a film that was supposedly quite grounded and just found the whole thing a bit silly, but I entered this one prepared to enjoy myself and give the franchise a second chance.

I actually thoroughly enjoyed this second sequel even if I didn’t think there was an awful lot there. The film is essentially an extend chase sequence but it keeps you hooked. At almost two hours the film never drags but one is left feeling slightly unfulfilled because not an awful lot seems to happen, but this very little unfolds excitingly and entertainingly. The film has one really excellent fight sequence; it’s brutal, it’s realistic (mostly) and is helped by having no music over it. My only complaint about this sequence is that a couple of the sound effects were a little too much. There are two fantastic chase sequences as well with a variety of vehicles. Both are lots of fun. There’s also a great cat and mouse section in a London train station which is thrilling, mostly due to the inclusion of a character who isn’t the invincible Bourne, which was a good move, because it also gives us a chance to see the more tactical side of Bourne’s training as he endeavours to keep Paddy Considine’s reporter alive. The man responsible for this is Greengrass, the director. He has an excellent eye for action and really ensures the audience is captivated throughout.

The villains aren’t particularly compelling but are suitably villainous although there is a little bit of political commentary on what powers should be granted in the name of National Security, but thankfully it’s kept to the side. There was what seemed to be quite a nice conclusion to Bourne’s quest for himself, but as I had little emotional stake in the character it was a little lost on me. The acting is solid but unspectacular despite a very strong cast.

In brief:The Bourne Ultimatum is a good, fun yarn directed with flair but I wouldn’t say it has redefined anything or regard it as a classic.

Originally posted Saturday, 18 August 2007.

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