“The Bourne Ultimatum” is the third and final entry into the original “Bourne Trilogy” and is the second of the trilogy that is directed by Paul Greengrass. In the first film, “The Bourne Identity,” Jason Bourne is found, then escapes, and sets out to learn who he is and why he is here. The second film, “The Bourne Supremacy,” continues his journey and showcases some god chase scenes and some plot strands as well. Now there is the third film, “The Bourne Ultimatum,” which is so fast paced, relentless, brutal, and grand, once it picks up steam, it never loses it.
Paul Greengrass directs this film with effective precision, using the shaky-cam technique to great and marvelous effects. Every chase scene, fight scene, and even dialogue-driven scene is enhanced because of the shaky-cam direction, which I typically do not like. Which brings me to my next point: the action. The action scenes in this film are non-stop, and they are completely satisfying for any action junkie, or just the average film goer. The fight scenes are so well done and edited, not even hinting at the fact that these are actually actors fake fighting. No spoilers, but there is a scene in the third act of this film that involves a rooftop chase, that literally left my jaw hanging for minutes. The action scenes in this film are some of the best I’ve ever seen.
The acting in “Ultimatum” is top notch. Matt Damon returns, giving it his all, masking so many emotions and pulling off three for three. Returning also is Julia Stiles, who I think does a really good job in the film, and Joan Allen, who’s character I find very well written and acted. Appearing for the first time is the character of Noah Vosen, portrayed by David Strathairn, who is a menacing antagonist who will stop at nothing to have Bourne dead. The entire supporting cast is great, and I cannot find any bad performances.
The script for this film by Tony Gilroy is sharper than the previous films’, offering plenty of complex words and political terms, all while taking its characters too great places. Great pacing, dialogue, and complexity are all present here.
Something I tend to always look for in movies is a sense of good music. What the music sounds like and where it is placed can determine the entire outcome of a movie. Thankfully, John Powell’s score is magnificent, and it captures every essence of this film’s mood. Powell has really created something masterful here, creating a great musical alignment that really suits every scene of the film, which is rare these days.
Paul Greengrass’ frenetic direction, Damon’s committed performance, great music, and a magnificent script collaborate to make “The Bourne Ultimatum” the best of the trilogy and perhaps one of the greatest action films of all time. I advise everyone to watch this magnificent piece of art, but be warned: buckle up; once this thing starts it never slows down.
Run Time: 116 mins
Rated: PG-13 for violence and intense sequences of action