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The Bourne Ultimatum (2007)

March 12, 2010

9/10 Face Books

Not just the best of the trilogy, but one of the best action movies I’ve seen in ages.

The Bourne Ultimatum is about the same thing Identity and Supremacy were about – former government killing machine/current renegade killing machine with amnesia tries to find out who he really is, who killed his girlfriend and how he came to be such a bonafide destroyer of human bodies before the people behind it all take him out first. Only this time he’s really close to figuring it all out.

Usually rehashing a formula three times in a row isn’t the best idea for any trilogy, but since it’s a damn good formula to begin with that keeps you out of the loop and wanting to know more, this “complaint” is rendered null and void.

Case closed, suckas.

Up until this entry, the Bourne movies have always been a pretty fun and entertaining way to burn two hours, but they never really reached a peak of true awesomeness that separated them from just being well-made action movies on par with the typical Summer blockbuster. Good action, intriguing storyline, solid all-around cool factor, but one of those things you only really need to see once and that’s about it.

Then this one comes along and out of nowhere launches a flying headbutt right through that glass ceiling of cinematic badassery, giving the whole franchise a much-needed hardcore rep that it didn’t have quite before.

Everything gets upped this time around, and, folks, I mean everything.

Maybe I just need to give it another run-through, but back when Paul Greengrass got behind this series with Supremacy, I didn’t think much of it. Definitely wild, but like Identity, it didn’t really stick with me. Now, I’m not sure how many Red Bulls this guy must have been downing when he started directing Ultimatum, but things got instantly more memorable.

The pacing in this movie is simply unreal. It never lingers, it never drags and it never lets its lead foot off the pedal from the minute it starts. Greengrass just makes this sucker flow like an effing tidal wave and the way he films it all with hand-held cameras that throw you right into the action as its all going down makes everything that’s happening on-screen that much more frenetic and intense. Shit is absolutely non-stop and the action scenes are as swayze as they get.

And Paul Rudd is right, Matt Damon totally rocks the shit as Jason Bourne, drop-kicking any and all thoughts of him as being a “Streisand”, not that I ever thought he was anyway. Not much to be said for his acting abilities considering all he has to do is take names, tear suckers down and do it all without breaking a sweat, but all in all, he’s totally legit and does the action hero thing better than ever before.

I like them apples.

Just as Casino Royale was the action movie of ’06, Ultimatum was the freakin’ action movie of  ’07 and I still consider them both to be on a very even playing field. It’s not often that a movie is so entertaining and so much fun that it has me doing a double take at my watch when it’s all said and done, but when it does happen, sweet sassy molassy is it sweet. I even saw this with my mom and she thought the exact same thing, so, hey, there’s something for everyone.

The Bourne Ultimatum, man. What a blast.

I don’t know how Green Zone is gonna fare, but it’s fighting one hell of an uphill battle if it has any hope of being better than this. Here’s to hoping that those 12 bucks of mine get put to good use this weekend.

18 Comments leave one →
  1. March 12, 2010 1:40 am

    I agree that this is the best installment in the series. Each action set-piece shows a cinematic flair and technical proficiency that few action films have ever achieved.

    I like the rest of the series, and while I think Supremacy has a much more compelling story, Ultimatum is one of the greatest thrill rides captured on film.

    And we’ll see how Green Zone is. I’ll be laying down some cold cash as well to find out whether it can recapture the thrills of Ultimatum this weekend.

  2. Uncle Fran permalink
    March 12, 2010 10:47 am

    This opinion (and Casino Royale) I agree with, it’s good to see your reviews back on track Aiden after that Shutter Island hiccup.

    • March 12, 2010 10:50 am

      Haha, glad we’ll have something to agree on at the Legion Hall next time.

  3. March 12, 2010 11:13 am

    Wow, I just realized I haven’t seen this movie. For some reason, I always thought I had seen it, probably because of the similar names but after checking the trailer… nope.

    Woohoo! This is like finding an unopened Christmas gift. Awesome!

  4. March 12, 2010 12:14 pm

    Great flick! I know some people have a problem with the “shaky-cam” technique in this film, but I personally think it works well throughout.

    • March 14, 2010 5:05 pm

      Yeah, I don’t get the lack of love for the shaky cam. More action movies need the shaky cam.

  5. March 12, 2010 3:04 pm

    I liked the previous two more, but that could be because of Chris Cooper and Brian Cox.

    • March 14, 2010 5:06 pm

      Need to re-watch those, but Cox and Cooper always make things better. Big fan over here.

  6. Branden permalink
    March 12, 2010 3:05 pm

    I forgot what rating I gave this movie, but I thought that it was a good ending to the series. I enjoyed Supremacy better. I guess, when everything is answered and David Strathairan ordering head shots for everyone got on my nerves.

  7. March 14, 2010 9:28 am

    I like the series as a whole, and I love how the story in Ultimatum and Supremacy was weaved together so seamlessly…which I so did not see coming.

    And I think I would much prefer to see a prequel for the 4th Bourne movie rather than a reboot. There’s more of a story there with who Bourne actually was before he became the amnesiac we all know now.

  8. March 14, 2010 11:47 am

    yeah, Ultimatum definitely loses marks for its Coxlessness
    but then so do the other three movies he was in during 2007.
    there’s also a bit in Ultimatum where Bourne types ‘and’ into a Google search. Any spy worth his salt would know you waste valuable seconds doing dumb shit like that.
    I think if pushed I actually prefer Supremacy. I still think the Moscow car chase is the best sequence of all the Bourne movies. Ultimatum is great though. cant go to Waterloo Station without thinking about it

  9. March 14, 2010 11:48 am

    man. i cant write. lets go for…
    ‘but then so do the other three movies he WASNT in during 2007.’
    serves me right for trying to make a witty joke

    • March 14, 2010 5:11 pm

      Man, I really do need to see those first two movies again. Remember loving the fight scene in Supremacy with that guy in the plastic handcuffs. And even though we’ve established this many a time, Brian Cox is the man and deserved to be in those three movies he wasn’t in. Pretty sure they sucked hard as a result.

  10. March 14, 2010 8:44 pm

    Thanks for adding me to the blogroll, Aiden. I have added you as well.

  11. March 16, 2010 11:50 am

    I am a huge fan of the entire trilogy, and each film gives something unique to the genre that didn’t exist before, but what’s so great about Bourne is Matt Damon as Bourne. I loved Ultimatum and it was an insanely brilliant conclusion to the story.

    I truly hope they leave the series alone now. It was a great character, but I can’t see anyone aside from Damon being Bourne.


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