THE BOURNE ULTIMATUM
MOVIE: **** (out of 5)
DVD EXPERIENCE: ***1/2 (out of 5)
Matt Damon as JASON BOURNE
Julia Stiles as NICKY PARSONS
David Strathairn as NOAH VOSEN
Scott Glenn as EZRA KRAMER
Paddy Considine as SIMON ROSS
Edgar Ramirez as PAZ
Albert Finney as ALBERT HIRSCH
Joan Allen as PAMELA LANDY
Directed by: Paul Greengrass
BY KEVIN CARR
This summer movie season was the revenge of the thirds. There were decent ones (like “Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End”). There were crappy ones (like “Shrek the Third”). And there were some that were raked over the coals by critics that I liked and that did well (like “Spider-Man 3”). By the time the summer of sequels was over, “The Bourne Ultimatum” was dropped in the mix.
It’s too bad this film didn’t come out earlier in the year because it was a lot of fun, and an earlier release date could have given it a higher profile. Along with “Live Free or Die Hard,” this was probably one of my favorite summer blockbusters.
The film picks up literally ten minutes after “The Bourne Supremacy,” which was one of my favorite films of 2004. While it’s not as tight and structured as “Supremacy,” “The Bourne Ultimatum” was very well constructed. It tells the story of rogue assassin Jason Bourne as he tries to piece together his history. Along the way, he’s being hunted by the CIA agents who helped make him and wish he would disappear.
Overall, the “Bourne” series has been consistently good over the first two films, and the third one definitely lives up to its predecessors. Matt Damon shines as the amnesiac assassin who is now searching for his true identity.
Director Paul Greengrass who gave us last year’s “United 93,” has been criticized heavily over the years for his use of the shaky-cam, which is very prevalent in this film. However, on the small screen, it’s a lot easier to take, yet you don’t lose the sense of action in the piece.
Unlike “Supremacy” and especially unlike “The Bourne Identify,” “Ultimatum” is a fast-moving piece that is relatively self-contained. The viewer is piggy-backed onto Jason Bourne through the show, and we get taken through plenty of awesome action scenes. It’s a little lighter on the story, mostly beefing it up in the end, but the film itself is two hours of powerful action and ultimate escapism. And, unlike the fantasy films littering the summer, this one felt a little more real.
The DVD comes with deleted scenes and a feature commentary by Paul Greengrass. The rest of the features include spotlights on location and action. The focus covers the different cities where the movie was filmed, the rooftop chase, fight training, stunt driving and doing fast action in the heart of New York City.
However, for a smart summer action flick, “The Bourne Ultimatum” delivers. It’s too bad there are no more books because this franchise is still alive and kicking.