Saturday, August 04, 2007

The Bourne Ultimatum

Rogue agent Jason Bourne (Matt Damon) is being hunted by the people in the CIA who trained him to be an assassin. Still suffering from amnesia and determined to finally learn of his true identity, he is lured out of hiding to contact a journalist named Simon Ross (Paddy Considine), who has been following his story. Throughout his research, Ross has gathered valuable information about Bourne and Treadstone, which trained him. This is rather inconvenient for U.S. government official Noah Vosen (David Strathairn), who is hoping to start a new organization under the codename Blackbriar (which is briefly mentioned at the end of the first film) which would follow in Treadstone's footsteps.

With intent to kill Bourne and the journalist before they expose the program's disturbing secrets, Vosen sends agent Pamela Landy (Joan Allen) to lead the search effort. Simultaneously, Paz (Edgar Ramirez), one of the remaining living Treadstone assassins, is dispatched to find and neutralize Bourne and Ross. In order to finally learn of his true origins and find inner peace, Bourne will have to evade, out-maneuver, and outsmart the deadliest group of highly-trained agents and assassins yet.

This one's simple: Fast paced, well acted, believable plot scattered among exotic locations and peppered with various nefarious characters all trying to keep their secrets hidden. What's not to like? The Bourne character, again well played by Damon, is a force to be reckoned with and yet, he never comes across as being completely infallible. The chance that something could go wrong or a mistake could be made by the main character is a very hard notion to have survive to a third movie and it's that aspect, that amount of realism, that makes the movie so much more enjoyable.

Another aspect of adequate realism is the action of the film. If there is any CGI used in the film, it is used sparingly and invisibly in the action sequences because it all appears to involve actual stunt people, real locations and solid (very solid) objects. This is, obviously, an action movie but, as in the previous films, there isn't action simply for action's sake. There is a reason for every action event in the movie and none of if comes across as wanton or excessive.

If you have seen and enjoyed the previous Bourne movies, you will not be disappointed by this one. The fact that I can't decide which film I liked best is a good indication, to me, that they all follow a well thought and executed premise. Additionally, if you're a fan of the films and also happen to like to read, the real treat will be reading the books since the movies have practically nothing in common with them. The general idea of Bourne not knowing who he is is, initially, the same but that's pretty much where the similarities end. The books are much more involved and intricately conceived and there's also Bourne's arch nemesis, Carlos the Jackal. So, rather than having only three stories, you can, literally (pun intended), have six very different adventures.


Chris said...

La la la la la la la la, I can't hear you, I can't read you either as I soooooo want to see this movie. I am a HUGE fan of the books and think Matt's casting is perfect. However, I had a hard time with the first film as it didn't really follow the story at all (other than what the title character was experiencing) they left out the whole Carlos bit and I took offense and changing the female love interest from a smart Canadian to some ditzy backpacker. But, once I understood the movies were just using the character and not the storyline then I could sit back and enjoy. As a result I loved the 2nd film and am looking forward to the third. Just not sure when it's going to hit the theatres here in Glasgow, but I have seen a poster so it should be soon.

John Taylor said...

hi chris-
You're really going to like this one, even though they're still lacking a smart Canadian.
By the way, the U.K. release for the film is August 17, so you don't have to wait too long.
Hope you enjoy it!

Chris said...

Saw it Saturday night. Loved the car flipping backwards off the car park :>) I also laughed at myself during the London ariel shot when I realized that was no longer an 'exotic' location for me as I now live in the UK. And seeing the cat and mouse sequence in Waterloo station was the same. If I had to pick a fav of the 3 I think probably 2 is best but they are all great movies. I'll probably end up purchasing the DVD 3 pack when they come out.

John Taylor said...

hi chris-
Glad you enjoyed the flick - and I completely agree, the 2nd is my favorite, as well.